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October 16, 2021



Czech-language Internet again spreading hoax about "free medicine for Roma"

7.8.2016 13:46
--ilustrační foto--
--ilustrační foto--

The Czech-language Internet has once again begun spreading a hoax alleging that Romani people get medications or other goods for free in pharmacies. During the month of July, news server reported that this falsehood was one of the 10 most-widespread hoaxes making the rounds in Czech.

Recently Jiří Maria Sieber, who is running for the Czech Senate, disseminated this falsehood along with a rumor that Romani people were even receiving washing machines free of charge. The original hoax about Romani people not having to pay for medications first appeared in April 2011 and was primarily disseminated through e-mail.

Sieber has modified the story so that the mythical Romani woman is instead allegedly getting Sunar baby formula free of charge at a pharmacy. "Then the gypsy went to the cashier and put a piece of A-4 paper on the counter. The pharmacist with Dr. Max sewn onto her white office coat gave the gypsy five Sunars and confirmed that the A4 paper was from the welfare office so the gypsy did not have to pay for them. The gypsy happily went on her way with her Sunars," Sieber posted online.

Back in 2011 this absurdity was refuted by the Czech Labor and Social Affairs Ministry. "People who have been recognized as persons in material distress who receive one of the benefits for aid to those in material distress (the living allowance, the housing benefit, or extraordinary immediate aid), are only releived of their obligation to pay regulatory fees, according to the law on public health insurance. Neither that nor any other law relieves them of the obligation to pay for medications! If a patient buys medications for which the patient must pay in whole or in part, then all patients must pay that money, without exception!" Viktorie Plívová, who in 2011 was spokesperson for the ministry, wrote to news server back then.   

One of the hoaxes about free medicine

This is a translation of one of the hoaxes now being spread through social networking sites in Czech:

Shock at the pharmacy, INFORM EVERYBODY!!!!!! Until last week I had no idea, but Roma don't have to pay for medicines. I was at the pharmacy buying my kids drops for their cough and their noses, etc. That minority was in front of me in line, they were choosing medicines and then they pulled out a paper from the welfare office,... the pharmacist confirmed it for them and they left. I asked her what that paper had been and she told me those people were socially weak so the state pays their medicines.
I almost lost it, I paid CZK 500 and went home angry. I work, I pay social security, health insurance, taxes - and all of it goes to them and those like them.

ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
Views: 948x

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