National Legal System in Relation to Vulnerable Population Groups

Sjeničić, Marta (2015) National Legal System in Relation to Vulnerable Population Groups. Stanovništvo, 53 (1). pp. 19-38. ISSN 0038-982X eISSN 2217-3986

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Vulnerable social groups can be recognized in everyday life, and local legal regulations identify them as well. Strategies and laws clearly identify the increased needs of vulnerable groups. Local legislation, for example, observes comparative law trends and attempts to prevent discrimination of persons with disabilities, emphasizes their human rights and creates the legal framework for taking these persons out of the institutional form of protection and including them into the community. In Serbia however, strategies and laws, as well as by-laws, are written in sectors, and not in cross-sectors manner. Proper caring for persons with disabilities, including persons with mental disabilities, requires an integral approach, namely a mutual approach of the social, health, educational and other sectors. True enough, local regulations stress the need for an intersectional approach, but such an approach is scantily applied in practice, so the comprehensive care that would satisfy the multiple needs of persons with mental disabilities often turns out to be less than expected in the community. Pursuant to national laws and basic ethic principals, all citizens of the Republic of Serbia have the right to health protection without discrimination. Therefore, methods for using health protection, easier than the existing ones, should be found for certain vulnerable groups, depending on their characteristics, and so for the Roma as well, and bearing in mind that systemic health regulations in Serbia open the door to special treatment of these groups. The inaccessible approach to health care of the Roma population persists primarily due to insufficient basic health documentation and basic personal documentation. Personal documents are linked with the registered place of residence, which the Roma, largely do not have. The problem is thus on a wider scale and is not only focused on the health sector. As such, it requires a wider, intersectional approach and a coordinated solution to the problem. In the field of palliative care of terminally ill persons, a solution is on the way to be reached through the Strategy for Palliative Care, by reorganizing the health system. The health system as it is cannot fulfill the needs of persons requiring palliative care. Coextensive systems enable establishing hospices as charity organizations in the non-governmental sector, mainly financed from donations. They represent a support to the health system in taking care of terminally ill patients. For now, our legal system does now allow non-governmental organizations to engage in health activities, although there were initiatives in that direction. To some extent, national regulations offer a basis for treatment of patients with rare illnesses, but without specifying their rights to a diagnosis or treatment and without more detailed regulations on the allocation of funds directed towards diagnosing rare illnesses and treatment of the ill. A lack of legal and financial prerequisites makes them subject to discrimination. The very fact that a large number of these patients are children makes them twice as endangered category of population. The legal system has recently started dealing with a regulation that would support persons suffering from rare illnesses, but the implementation of these provisions has still not completely become a reality. The Law on Health Care and Insurance defines children and women in their reproductive period as an especially vulnerable group. The Law on Rights to Healthcare for Children, Pregnant Women and Women on Maternity Leave, has recently been brought. The Law has been brought with an aim of ensuring rights to health care and transportation costs benefits for children, pregnant women and mothers during maternity leave, regardless of the basis on which they have health insurance. The reason for bringing such a law is noble, but the form of the legal act, which was supposed to realize the set goal, was overemphasized and contributed to the already existing over-norming of Serbian legislature. The legal basis for regulating this issue already existed in the umbrella health laws and should have been realized through by-law regulations.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: vulnerable groups, legal system, Roma, palliative care, persons with mental disabilities, osetljive društvene grupe, pravni sistem, Romi, palijativno zbrinjavanje, osobe s mentalnim smetnjama.
Institutional centre: Centre for legal research
Depositing User: Vesna Jovanović
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2021 15:21
Last Modified: 10 Nov 2021 15:21

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