People with disabilities experience poorer health than their non-disabled peers and face widespread barriers in accessing services. In Member States of the WHO European Region, 6 to 10 out of every 100 people live with a disability. In total, an estimated 135 million people in the Region live with a disability. With population ageing and the rising prevalence of noncommunicable conditions, including injuries, this number is set to increase in the future.

While some health conditions associated with disability result in poor health and extensive health-care needs, others do not. However, all people with disabilities have the same general health-care needs as everyone else, and therefore require access to mainstream health-care services. WHO/Europe supports equitable access to quality health services for people with disabilities.