Access to healthcare for the disabled is a major issue, highlighted by the French National Authority for Health in 2008. The conclusion is clear: there are major inequalities in regards to access to healthcare between non-disabled and disabled people. A high proportion of people with disabilities are renouncing to their healthcare access rights. This is very problematic, since the disabled are vulnerable people who need a steady support in the long-run. The CoActis Santé association has reflected on access to healthcare for mentally deficient people. Indeed, disabled people sometimes face difficulties to access ambulatory care for routine care (general practice, gynecology, ophthalmology, dental care,…) because consultations are unfit for their needs (lack of specific communication tools, lack of adapted equipments and facilities), and professionals are not necessarily trained to handle the pathologies associated to each disability, especially for mental disabilities.
there are major inequalities in regards to access to healthcare between non-disabled and disabled people
Based on this observation, the association CoActis Santé initiated a project consisting in translating into pictograms the major consultations’ types of routine medicine, in order to create a concrete tool to prepare practitioners’ consultations. This tool is designed for practitioners and patients with mental disabilities. The pictures will describe what the physician’s actions will be, in which environment, in which order and with which medical instruments. They will also detail what the patient will have to do (get undress, open his/her mouth, etc.). A working group made of different stakeholders in the field of disabilities is responsible for the creation of these pictograms.
This innovative project should greatly improve the quality of healthcare support for people with mental disabilities.
The app offers a set of illustrated and captioned sheets which explain the medical consultations step by step, the material which will be used, the doctor’s movements and the actions that the patient will have to execute. This tool permits, in this way, to reduce the anxiety level of people with mental disabilities.
The app is now available for free on Android. You can download it from Google Play. An iOS version will soon be available on the App Store.