Court bans Boa Vista from restricting hospital treatment for migrants

In January, Conectas and the Public Defender’s Office filed a public civil action against the municipal law that limits treatment for Venezuelans in the public health system by up to 50%

The TRF-1 (Federal Appeals Court of the First Region) on Monday, April 20, banned the Municipality of Boa Vista, in the state of Roraima, from restricting treatment for migrants in the municipality’s public health system. In February this year, municipal law 2,074/2020, which established the discriminatory rule on treatment for Venezuelans in public hospitals and health clinics in the city, was challenged in a public civil action filed by the Federal Public Defender’s Office in partnership with Conectas Human Rights.

The lawsuit asked the court to lift the restriction on health care for Venezuelans under penalty of daily fines of R$100,000. After the request for an injunction was denied by the 4th Federal Court, the organizations appealed to the TRF-1, which fully accepted the request and ordered the Municipality of Boa Vista to stop any discrimination based on nationality that restricts health care for migrants. The Court also ordered a message to be posted, in a visible location in all health facilities, informing the population of the rights of migrants to access health services on equal terms.

In the appeal filed with the TRF-1, the organizations also warned of the risk of limiting treatment for Venezuelans in the event of a health emergency such as the one caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. “The restriction of health care for migrants at the municipal level could also produce a chaotic situation, given the risk to Brazilian epidemiological security, since they may not receive treatment if the callous percentage established by the law is exceeded,” they said in the appeal.


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