The Central Institute of Stomatology directly discriminated and violated the principle of equal treatment by refusing people living with HIV and AIDS (PLHA) patients’ dental care and oral surgery not related to their infection – the Equal Treatment Authority ruled in its condemning decision.
The HCLU as a lobbyist for public interest turned to the Equal Treatment Authority back on December 1st, 2011 to perform an investigation on the misconduct of the Central Stomatology Institute (Institute) and the Hungarian state. The Institute refused people living with HIV and AIDS patients’ dental and oral surgery care not related to their infections, claiming that the dental / oral surgical care is underfunded, thus they cannot provide care for patients with infections. In the HCLU’s view this practice, in addition to violating the right to health and the requirement of equal treatment can be extremely dangerous.
"The discrimination of people living with HIV in addition to violating the provisions of the Fundamental Law and the principle of equal treatment, is also illogical. Many of the HIV cases in Hungary remain undiagnosed, people not knowing their HIV status, cannot inform the medical staff providing care for them. According to the rule and also international practice, all patients must be provided care that they can potentially carry any infection. This way we can prevent passing undiagnosed infections to either the health care worker or fellow patients." – said Ferenc Bagyinszky, Head of HIV/AIDS Program
As a representative of the Hungarian State, the State Secretariat for Health Care offered an agreement, which the HCLU accepted. As part of the agreement an action plan was developed with specific deadlines. The Ministry agreed to revise outdated relevant legislation and guidelines according to international standards. As part of the agreement an informative leaflet on infection control will also be produced and distributed to health care workers. Moreover, the Ministry agreed to introduce mandatory trainings for health care providers on HIV/AIDS and include sessions on infection control and HIV/AIDS in professional conferences and forums. In addition, as part of the agreement, the procedure of establishing regional HIV centers was agreed, significantly improving the access of PLHA to HIV care.
"If the trainings, agreed on with the Ministry are realized, they will help to reduce stigma and prejudice against PLHA in health care, in addition to improving access to health care for PLHA." – said Rita Bence, Head of Patients' Rights Program.