no. 07-00-603/2019-02 date: 31.12. 2020.
The opinion was issued in the procedure regarding the complaint filed by AA, against the Special Hospital for Rehabilitation, for discrimination on the grounds of disability. The complaint states that the complainant was recommended spa treatment and rehabilitation after a surgery, which is why she addressed the Special Hospital to first determine whether the hospital facility is accessible to people who use wheelchairs. However, from the information she received by telephone and e-mail, the complainant concluded that she had been discriminated against because she cannot stay in this rehabilitation center on her own. The statement of the Special Hospital for Rehabilitation affirms that persons who use wheelchairs can access the facility and rooms on their own, as well as the parts where treatment and rehabilitation are performed. A supplement to the statement clarified that there is a room in the hotel that can be accessed by a person who uses a wheelchair, and this person in such a room can stay and move, but that there is no toilet that can be used independently by a person who uses a wheelchair, and technical adaptation of the room is not possible, since the facility was built before the entry into force of the Rulebook on technical standards of planning, design and construction of facility, which ensures unimpeded movement and access for people with disabilities, children and the elderly. In this regard, it is indisputable that the facility used by the Special Hospital for Rehabilitation is not fully accessible to persons with disabilities who use wheelchairs to move. The Law on Prevention of Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities, adopted in 2006, prescribes the obligation of owners, that is, users to provide access to facility for public use, as well as to adaptate the facility for accessibility to persons with disabilities, regardless of their degree of disability, where the notion of a facility in public use is defined by law, and facilities in the field of health care are especially emphasized. The positive regulations of the Republic of Serbia undoubtedly prescribe the duty to ensure the accessibility of facilities and areas in public use, including health care institutions, which is only one of the elements of the broader right of access. In the General Comment no. 2 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities states that health and social care will remain inaccessible to persons with disabilities if the buildings in which health and social care services are provided are inaccessible. Starting from the regulations that are binding in terms of ensuring the accessibility of facilities for public use for persons with disabilities and the application of the rules on redistribution of the burden of proof, the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality gave the opinion that, by failing to ensure the accessibility of the facility used by the Special Hospital for Rehabilitation to persons with Disabilities who use wheelchairs to move, the Special Hospital violated the provisions of Art. 6 and 17 of the Law on Prohibition of Discrimination, in connection with Art. 13 and 16 of the Law on Prevention of Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities. Therefore, the Special Hospital for Rehabilitation was recommended to take measures and activities to ensure the accessibility of the facility used by the Special Hospital for Rehabilitation, so that persons with disabilities can stay independently in this facility and use the services of this hospital on an equal footing with others, as well as to comply with regulations prohibiting discrimination in the future.
COMMISSIONER FOR THE PROTECTION OF EQUALITY