HSE launch reports on intercultural health projects

The HSE’s social inclusion services in the South East - Tuesday 13th June - launched four reports focused on intercultural health care work.

The HSE’s Community Healthcare Organisation Area 5 (the South East), as part of the National Intercultural Health Care Strategy, are aiming to improve the health outcomes for minority and vulnerable communities.

In the South East, a number of creative and innovative models of working have been developed that support both service user and service provider and that are designed to address the gaps and barriers preventing equitable health outcomes.

Hosted at the Edmund Rice Cultural Centre in Waterford, today’s Official Launch also featured the presentation of Certificates to Community Knowledge Workers and Peer Health Advocates in the Asylum Seeker, and Roma communities who were participants in an intercultural healthcare pilot project.

Ms. Diane Nurse, the HSE’s National Lead in Social Inclusion, launched four reports:

1. “The Intercultural Healthcare Pilot Project” Report: A partnership pilot project between the HSE and the Integration and Support Unit (ISU) to develop model of intercultural healthcare with and for Asylum Seekers. The ISU at Mount Sion was established by The Edmund Rice International Heritage Centres (ERIHC) in 2006, to respond to the needs of refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants in the Waterford area.

2. “Towards Care, Compassion, Trust and Learning”: Evaluation for the HSE (CHO 5, the South East) Social Inclusion Dept. on health care and promotion work with the Roma Communities in counties Waterford and Wexford.

3. “The Atelier Roma Men’s Programme”: Evaluation of a workshop/skills based, developmental programme with primary health care and English language module for Roma men.

4. “Intercultural Awareness and Practice in Health and Social Care”: Guide to a model of training developed in HSE (CHO 5, the South East) Social Inclusion Dept. to support staff in service delivery on a “Train the Trainer” basis.

Speaking at the launch, Ms. Nurse said:

“The HSE’s National Office for Social Inclusion supports equal access to health services for people from vulnerable groups and it’s clear that Community Healthcare Organisation Area 5 (the South East) has been very active in progressing this important work. The broadening of diversity resulting from the rich mix of cultures within Ireland has significantly enriched the fabric of social, economic and cultural life in Ireland. At the same time, this emerging diversity presents challenges for health services when responding to the needs of people from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds.”

“It is acknowledged that people from minority ethnic groups are at increased risk of poverty and social exclusion. Irish Travellers, asylum seekers and refugees are especially vulnerable – as instanced in the HSE’s National Intercultural Health Strategy, which has provided the framework within which the health and support needs of people from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds are being addressed. As reflected at today’s Official Launch here in Waterford, the Certificates being presented and the reports being launched are an indication of work being done by the HSE, in co-operation with other agencies and with members of the community themselves in addressing some of those challenges.”

“Health awareness and accessing care is the corner stone of the projects outlined in each of the reports being launched in Waterford today. From our point of view, in the HSE, we are building on the existing good practice already taking place in the arena of health provision for a diverse population Services around the needs of people from diverse groups have developed incrementally over recent years, with significant expertise built up in response to the needs of the public – as well as to various, statutory requirements. A challenge now exists to integrate services and render them accessible and responsive, with the service user always at the centre of newly created ways of working. The experiences and recommendations evident in these reports can further support staff and service users in participating actively and meaningfully in designing, delivering and evaluating provision of health care to minority ethnic service users in the South East.”

Ms. Jeanne Hendrick (General Manager, Social Inclusion/Community Healthcare Organisation Area 5, the South East) chaired today’s occasion at the Edmund Rice Cultural Centre. Ms. Anne Nolan (Project Co-ordinator, the Integration and Support Unit) helped to present the Certificates. As part of illustrating the reports launched, the occasion was also addressed by Ms. Victoria Kalimo Rosette (Health Outreach Worker, the Integration and Support Unit), Mr. Tony Quilty (Social Inclusion Specialist, HSE Mid-West and National Intercultural Health Lead) and Mr. Alex Petrovics (Roma Health Advocate, Ferns Diocesan Youth Services).

Last updated on: 14 / 06 / 2017