Emese Ibolya:
Improving medical school curricula and Roma access to health care in Hungary

Initial Work and Advocacy Plan
June, 2005

1. Aim of the project

The basic aim of my research is to give an overview and analysis of medical school curricula in Hungary for revision and possible improvements. By implementing such changes the major focus is on preparing health care personnel for more effective communication and cooperation with Roma patients in their work in the interest of better access for the Roma for quality health care services to increase their life expectancy.
I also intend to explore the attitude of medical personnel towards the Roma and vica versa; moreover, underlying factors that prevent medical universities to include factual and first hand-practical social elements in their curricula with special emphasis on ethnic-related issues.
2. Identification of OSI network programs that may serve as partners and the expected benefits from the cooperation:

- establishing information sharing mechanisms;
- cooperate with them based on their experiences gained in issues relevant to my research

More specifically:
2.1 Roma Health Project
The health situation of Roma people is of major impotance in the framework of the program with special attention on a complex approach to issues related to social disadvantages in their relation to ethnicity. As the access of Roma people to quality health care is insufficient to date in general, special steps are needed to do mutual lobbying for improving the curricula of medical schools with more focus on socially-related issues.

2.2 Law and Health Project
The basic human rights of Roma patients are often disobeyed by unequal treatment in the practice of health care providers. The program aims at building capacity in legal health issues in order to develop target factors in public health. By shared efforts public media campaigns and education programs are needed through government actions and NGO intitiatives in order to raise awareness of health care providers towards social disadvantages and to improve the self-advocacy skills of Roma people in practicing their basic human rights as patients.

2.3. Medicine as a Profession Program
MAP has supported efforts by physicians to improve the quality, distribution, and accessibility of health care in the United States. The Institute on Medicine as a Profession, as part of the program focuses on individual behavior and collective action of physicians, leaders of medical organizations, policy analysts, public officials, and consumers. As positive example, models of US medical curricula and ethics of medical personnel towards social issues to be included in the research.
3. Final outcome of the project

3.1. Research paper

How to improve medical school curricula in the interest of better access for the Roma population to public health

3.1.1. identifying the origins of problems in proper access to quality health care for the Roma
- geographical disadvantages
- social exclusion
- the attitude of Roma towards health care providers and the Hungarian public health system

3.1.2. Reasons for miscommunication between the Roma and health care providers
- the attitude of medical university teachers towards socially disadvantaged social groups
- the ’culture’ of Hungarian medical education and its barriers to sensitizing health care providers towards social issues and their ethnical elements
- lack of information and relevant data on poverty

3.1.3. Socially relevant content of medical school curricula
- sensitization of medical students towards poverty related issues
- the comlexity of social disadvantages to be presented
- model curricula based on foreign, positive examples

3.2  20-page Policy Study
I intend to make specific policy recommendations for Hungarian government bodies national and international non-profit organizations and non-governmental organizations, different lobby groups and media resources.  

- An overview and analysis of medical school curricula in Hungary for revision and   possible improvements in the interest of preparing health care personnel for more effective communication and cooperation with Roma patients
- Improve the mechanisms of teaching practices present at medical schools in transforming attitudes towards different social groups to future medical professionals
- Better access to Roma to public health care by identifying the preventing factors in cooperation with medical personnel and possible ways for solution

3.3. Policy Briefing Paper
On improvement of medical school curricula for better access for the Roma for public health

3.4. Workshops, Meetings & Interviews
3.4.1. Meetings with officials from the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Youth, Family, Social Issues and Equal Chances,
3.4.2. Meetings with OSI program representatives, Roma and Health NGO responsibles, representative of the Chamber of Doctors, World Health Organization, professors from medical universities, experts on social work and health care

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