Description of the situation

The Roma population is one of the socially endangered groups of population or a group with an increased health risk. Socio-economic factors (residential environment, social networks, education, employment) and factors related to the healthy lifestyle (smoking, drug consumption, unhealthy diet, physical activity) have an impact on the health determinants. All these factors intertwine and influence the health of the Roma population (Roma and health: Publication of the articles from national conferences, 2010).  


The characteristic of the majority of the Roma population is a shorter life expectancy (in average 10 years shorter compared to the majority population), there are many diseases and infections resulting from poor residential and economic conditions, frequent pregnancies and abortions, chronic respiratory diseases of small children and evidently a higher level of physical and intellectual handicaps.


Photo: People's University of Kočevje, First aid programme for the target group of the Roma, 2014


On the basis of the reports of the Institutes of Public Health Ljubljana and Novo Mesto and pursuant to the statistical data of the institutions and services operating within the scope of the health care system (community health centres, community nursing service) it is established that the Roma population still doesn't or insufficiently integrates itself into different prevention forms of health care and overuses the health care, in particular the emergency services.


Due to the specifics of the Roma population, the health of the Roma depends only on public health care (compared to other groups of population). In addition to the Roma culture and tradition which is still bound to old customs of natural and magic healing, their health also depends on the improvement of residential and living conditions, hygiene, employment and better social security, as well as education and schooling. Thus, it would be necessary to take into account their impact on the health of the Roma population when planning and implementing the health care system. The institutions and services, operating at the local/regional level, municipalities and the Roma representatives should therefore participate in planning and implementing the measures.

The Ministry of Health expects the increase of adequate activities for raising public awareness on the necessity of solving the problems, the Roma are faced with in all the segments of the society.



  • Several authors 2010. Romi in zdravje: zbornik prispevkov nacionalnih konferenc. Ministrstvo za zdravje, Sektor za zdravstveno varstvo ogroženih skupin prebivalstva, 2010. 122 p. ISBN 978-961-6523-44-8