Press Release

Micheál Martin TD, Minister for Health and Children launches Access Ireland’s Refugee Integration Project

“Awareness of cultural diversity and the need for sensitivity, responsiveness and accessibility in service provision are key elements in the planning and delivery of healthcare in today´s multicultural Ireland  the Minister of Health, Micheál Martin, said today (Wednesday morning, December 11th at 9.30 am) at the launch of the Intercultural Resource File published by Access Ireland Refugee Integration Project.

The launch took place in the Department of Health and Children in Hawkins House. The Minister went on point out that one of the ways that integration can be fostered, without abandoning the recognition of and respect for cultural beliefs and identity, is by involving men and women from the refugee community in the production of resource materials for use by staff working in frontline services.

This was the approach taking by Access Ireland in producing their Intercultural Resource File and it contains information about the reasons why refugee/asylum seeking people have fled their particular countries or regions, the socio-political situations there, and how the major life events, such as birth, are handled within their cultures or ethnic groups. This can help to build an understanding and respect for these backgrounds and differences in Irish service providers. The countries covered by the Resource file reflect the most common ethnic origins of refugee/asylum seeking people in Ireland today. It therefore contains information about Romanian, Nigerian, Congolese, Angolan and Roma refugee/asylum seeking people. The file is in ring-binder format so that people may add to it themselves. This promotes the idea that culture is dynamic. It also allows for the addition of other countries and ethnic origins as required.