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Addressing discrimination against persons dealing with chronic and long-term illnesses

PACE today recommended to member States a set of measures – based on the provisions of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities – to remedy the “profound social disadvantage and discrimination” experienced by people with chronic and long-term illnesses.

The resolution unanimously adopted by the Assembly, based on the report by Martine Wonner (France, ALDE), calls for stronger screening and prevention of these illnesses, and the development of care services allowing patients’ well-being, while allocating sufficient funds, particularly in the professional sphere – for example by strengthening resources for occupational medicine.

According to PACE, the obstacles and discrimination suffered by these patients should be subject to sufficiently dissuasive sanctions to enable them to access the well-being and fulfilment in their professional or private life to which they are entitled. In terms of control, it recommended evaluating patient protection systems, including in the private sector. In this regard, it called for a clear definition of “the right to be forgotten” and the effective implementation of this protection.

According to PACE, the obstacles and discrimination suffered by these patients should be subject to sufficiently dissuasive sanctions to enable them to access the well-being and fulfilment in their professional or private life to which they are entitled.

“It is not for people with these illnesses to adapt to society, but for society to adapt to them, with due regard for reasonable accommodation and the principles of equality and non-discrimination,” the parliamentarians concluded.