Access of stateless persons to medical care during the COVID-19 and assessment of the economic and social impact of the lockdown measures [EN/UK]

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Since March 12, 2020, in order to prevent the spread on the territory of Ukraine of acute respiratory illness COVID-19 caused by coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (from now on – COVID-19), the Government of Ukraine introduced quarantine throughout Ukraine 1 . Quarantine refers to administrative and health measures applied to the prevention of the spread of particularly dangerous infectious diseases2 . Temporarily, the work of the majority of business entities is prohibited throughout Ukraine, and movement is limited, as is access to public places and visits to crowded institutions and establishments. In March of 2020, administrative penalties were introduced for violation of quarantine rules, including a fine of UAH 17,0003 . The Government of Ukraine has planned a gradual roll-back of the quarantine measures, with the first stage entering into effect on May 11.

From April 21 to May 6, 2020, the nonprofit organization Charitable Fund ‘Right To Protection’ (from now on referred to as the Right to Protection) conducted a survey of 189 stateless persons5 (henceforth ‘SP’) and persons at risk of statelessness who receive free legal aid from the organization. The purpose of the survey is to identify existing restrictions on access to healthcare and possible restrictions on access to medical services in regards to COVID-19, as well as negative consequences (in particular, increased vulnerability) in connection with the introduction of the quarantine.

Among the respondents are 84 (44%) women and 105 (56%) men.

92% of respondents (175 people) said they did not have the family doctor of their choice.

Among them:

• 43 % – 76 respondents – answered that they had been denied signing a declaration with a family doctor due to lack of an identity document;

• 6 % – 10 people – said they did not know about the need to choose a doctor and sign a declaration;

• 43 % – 75 respondents – stated that they had not applied to sign a declaration because they did not need medical care;

• 8 % – 14 respondents – refused to answer.