Making health services easier to use 35
Making health services easier to use
Together disabled women and health workers can make health services better serve
women with disabilities. They can find ways to make it easier for women with
disabilities to get into a health center, to use the equipment, to increase knowledge
about disabilities, and to improve the attitudes of health workers towards disabled
women. Most of these changes are not difficult or expensive to do.
These changes will also help many others, such as older people who do not
move as easily as when they were young, or anyone who has had an accident and is
temporarily disabled with a broken leg or arm.
Ideas to make health services more disability-friendly
• Offer weekly or monthly home visits to people who live far from health centers.
• Offer free health services for women with disabilities.
• Make equipment easy to use.
• Provide public or private transportation to the health center. Transport must be
easy to use for people who use wheelchairs, crutches, or have difficulty walking.
For more information about access, see To learn more, beginning on page 376.
Barriers to health care
• For a woman using a wheelchair or crutches, most health centers and hospitals
are difficult to get to. They are often far away and there is no transport a woman
with a disability can easily use to get there.
• Equipment and supplies such as lower beds or
good quality catheters, are often not available.
• The hours the health center is open may not be
• There may be few women doctors even though
many women feel embarrassed to go to a male
Most health workers do not
listen to us because they think
we’re useless. If we’re lucky
enough to be examined, they
just do the test quietly. And
if we ask questions, they just
shout at us.
• Health workers do not know how to communicate
with someone who is deaf, and there are no health
information materials for women who are blind.
• Health care workers, including nurses and doctors, may not be very
well trained, or may not know much about disability. They may have
wrong ideas about disability and may not listen to you.
• Health services can be expensive and you may have to bribe
someone before you can meet with a health worker (corruption).
A Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities 2007