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HomeTopicsHealthCosta Rica Falls Short in Providing Accessible Health Services for Disabled Individuals

Costa Rica Falls Short in Providing Accessible Health Services for Disabled Individuals

The United Nations (UN) issued a long list of areas that Costa Rica must improve regarding the rights of people with disabilities. The organization identified 70 “areas of concern” and only 10 positive aspects. Recommendations were also provided to address the negative points.

The UN report highlighted the lack of accessibility to health services for people with disabilities, primarily due to shortages in medical equipment, facilities, and furnishings. Therefore, the Committee asked the country to ensure that persons with disabilities have access to quality health services with equipment adapted to their specific needs.

Another major concern was the lack of inclusion of persons with disabilities in sexual and reproductive health programs and services. “Costa Rica must ensure that persons with disabilities have full access to all health programs and services, including sexual and reproductive health and those related to HIV/AIDS, especially in rural areas and at the community level,” the UN’s report highlighted.

The country also does not do a good job of ensuring the inclusion of these people in the labor market. In fact, another negative aspect was the high level of unemployment identified among persons with disabilities, as well as the lack of details in the report issued by the government on the measures taken to encourage the private sector to generate more employment for persons with disabilities.

Given the situation, Costa Rica was urged to adopt effective measures to guarantee the right to work for all persons with disabilities and to combat discrimination, mainly in job advertisements and hiring processes. It was also recommended by the UN that Costa Rica establish specific incentives to promote the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the private labor market.

Additionally, the UN underscored the persistent discrimination against persons with disabilities, especially women, children, and persons with psychosocial and intellectual disabilities, and the lack of accessible complaint and redress mechanisms for victims of discrimination.

The 10 positive aspects identified with the committee are related to the approval, enactment, and adoption of different laws and policies. The presentation of the Government’s official report was criticized for the lack of representatives of institutions in the presentation, mainly from the National Council of Persons with Disabilities (CONAPDIS).

For the National Disability Movement, the Chaves Robles administration once again showed its disinterest in the more than 670 thousand people with disabilities in the country. “Not only do we denounce our disappointment and anger at the lack of seriousness and commitment on the part of the Costa Rican government towards people with disabilities, but we also demand an explanation for the regrettable and shameful participation and why the rector in matters of disability (CONAPDIS) and the Presidential Commissioner for Social Inclusion were not present,” they stated.

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