Facilitating beneficiaries’ access to health care became a matter of public interest during the pandemic, but civil society organisations observed challenges and administrative burdens that prevented beneficiaries of international protection to proactively seek care.
DRC Greece observed major issues in access to health care. The special health care number issued to applicants expires after 30 days of a positive decision, but beneficiaries need a residence permit to request a new health care number. Residence permits are delivered with significant delays, often after several months. Access to health care is dependent on obtaining a residence permit in Cyprus as well, which causes significant delays in accessing health care.1175
Civil society organisations from Croatia noted that unemployed persons – many of the beneficiaries of international protection – fall under a different health insurance regime and do not possess health cards. Doctors often perceived the lack of this card as not having a right to health care and refused patients. Pharmacies were also often unaware about the procedure to dispense medicines in this case.1176 Access to health care came under further pressure in general due to several earthquakes in the country.1177 The Croatian authorities underlined that doctors and health care institutions were informed through the Central Health Information System (CEZIH) on the rights of persons granted international protection, and the Ministry of Health gave daily instructions and information to health care workers. Pharmacies have also been provided with instructions on prescribing and dispensing medicines. Language barriers were often an issue when exercising these rights.
 AIDA Cyprus. (2021). Country Report: Cyprus - 2020 Update. Edited by ECRE. Written by Cyprus Refugee Council. https://asylumineurope.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/AIDA-CY_2020update.pdf
 Are You Syrious. (2021). Input to the EASO Asylum Report 2021. https://easo.europa.eu/sites/default/files/Are-You-Syrious-AYS.pdf
 AIDA Croatia. (2021). Country Report: Croatia - 2020 Update. Edited by ECRE. Written by Croatian Law Centre. https://asylumineurope.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/AIDA-HR_2020update.pdf