A recent report from Doctors Without Borders (MSF) documents Colombians’ struggle to access healthcare.
The report surveyed 977 people in seven different departments in Colombia. According to the report 33.6% of the respondents said that they experience discrimination in hospitals and clinics.
MSF found that some people simply cannot afford to see a doctor. In some cases, people live so far from a clinic that transportation can cost up to COP30,000 ($15.75), which is a considerable amount people living in near poverty. The NGO spoke with one person who said they would have to pay up to COP1 million ($525) to get to a clinic.
Of the people surveyed 78.6% said that they have difficulty accessing healthcare because the nearest clinic or hospital is too far away. Most respondents were four hours or more away from a clinic.
Some 41% of the respondents cannot access proper healthcare because they are living in poor areas which suffer from armed conflict. These people are either afraid to travel because there are landmines in the area or, when the do make it to a clinic, they are stigmatized because the doctors think they are part of an armed group.
MSF says that 20% of the people surveyed did not know that there is no charge for emergency services and 40% said they had difficulty accessing healthcare because they lacked sufficient information.