A report published today by the Faculty of Public Health Medicine at the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland, calls on the Government to provide early screening, immediate access to healthcare and for vaccinations for asylum seekers and refugees.
The Irish government has committed to accepting 4,000 new migrants through resettlement and relocation programmes.
Despite economic difficulties, that includes a scarcity of social housing, and reduced access to health and social care services for the general population, Ireland must look after the needs of all migrants, including undocumented migrants.
We welcome the government’s approach to accepting those fleeing war in the Middle East. However, the complicated physical and mental healthcare needs of these people must be met in an appropriate fashion, with adequate interpretation and social supports to encourage full integration into Irish society in the long term.
Dr Anne DeeCo-author, Specialist in Public Health Medicine
The report contains recommendations for the short, medium and long term needs of the migrant population, including:
We hope that this position paper provides inspiration to policy makers to devise policies and provide services that protect human rights and improve the health of both migrants and the communities in which they live. Health status is influenced not just by access to health services but also by housing, education, employment language support and a safe environment. These social determinants have significant impact on long-term health and wellbeing.
Prof Elizabeth KeaneDean of the Faculty of Public Health Medicine
Further recommendations include: