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Mayor Holland welcomes launch of Tallaght Roma Integration Project Healthcare Report

22 January, 2016 - by Sarah Holland

Mayor of South Dublin, Cllr Sarah Holland, has commended the Tallaght Roma Integration Project on the huge amount of work they have done in helping the Roma Community integrate into Dublin 24.

The TRIP team concentrated on the area of accessing health care, as members of the Roma Community had fallen through the safety net and were finding it incredibly difficult to get GP care, resulting in long waits at A&E or avoidance of medical care altogether, due to a lack of money.

They set up a mobile GP bus outside Tallaght hospital first of all, then moved to a premises in Chambers House.

The service is run by the HSE with Roma volunteers who act as translators and go a huge way towards encouraging members of the community to access the service.

She said:

“The TRIP done have provided an enormous service to our community as a whole, particularly to the Roma Community, who suffer an inordinate amount of discrimination.

At the launch yesterday, we heard from Gabi Muntean from Pavee Point and Emilia Caldaros, who volunteers at Chamber House, were the healthcare services are provided.

They told us of a mother whose child was burning with fever and who could not afford to get private medical care.  She had no medical card, and spoke very little English meaning that she was effectively excluded from getting medical care for her child.

Gabi said that the mother was so relieved when the child was seen by the doctor and given antibiotics – something we all take for granted.”

Cllr Holland went on to outline the discrimination faced by the Roma community

“In some instances, the volunteers did not feel safe going home alone from their work in Chambers House, and had to be escorted for fear of being accosted.

In this day and age, we should hang our heads in shame that citizens who are giving their time free of charge to provide a community service are being targeted, simply because of their ethnicity.”

The Tallaght Roma Integration Service is a huge success, with numbers in attendance increasing yearly.

Cllr Holland feels the service is necessary in urban centres all over Ireland, and said

“The TRIP model is one which should be employed all over Dublin local authorities and beyond, anywhere that groups of Roma are living.

Healthcare in Ireland certainly has its problems, but us as a society should not countenance the exclusion of certain groups from this vital service.

South Dublin County Council are leading the way on social inclusion projects, and other local authorities should follow their example.”

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