For ten years now, health exclusion has become a reality for many people living in the Spanish State, where health care and access to treat illness and pain is subject to places of origin or administrative circumstances.
With the collective Red Solidaria de Acogida (the Refuge Solidarity Network) — a member of Museo Situado’s collaboration network — this latest edition of the Situated Voices programme seeks dialogue around this issue, which primarily afflicts undocumented migrant people whose lives are drained in a constant wait that leaves them on their own to face illness. This is coupled with a fear of rejection, an insurmountable bill or delayed care — and all without family support given they are far from home.
How long can a body endure pain? To what extent can a developing illness be withstood without medical care? How do we look after ourselves without health care? What can be done if access to health care is denied, despite being requested? And if care is finally received, what happens if the medical bill is too expensive to pay? These and other questions are addressed in this encounter, which features the participation of health care professionals, lawyers and activists.
Life lived outside the system is distressing, without the right to more elemental care. Dialogue around this emergency confirms the need to re-think the model of society we want and need, because for many people time is running out and health cannot be delayed.
Pablo Iglesias Rionda is a lawyer, political advocacy specialist for Médicos del Mundo and coordinator of the Red de Denuncia y Resistencia al RDL 16/2012 (REDER).
Leticia Ponce is a member of the support group for people excluded by Spain’s National Institute of Social Security (INSS).
Nacho Revuelta is a health care professional and a member of the organisation Yo Sí Sanidad Universal.
Maite Zabalza is a social educator and participates in Red Interlavapiés and Senda de Cuidados.
Ana Zamora Sarabia is a specialist in preventive medicine and public health and a participant in the legal and psychosocial support group of Red Solidaria de Acogida. She is also a member of the Invisibles de Tetuán collective, which focuses on situations of poverty and social exclusion.