Thursday, 11 July 2019
Department of Health
460. To ask the Minister for Health the way in which he is improving access to primary care services for refugees in emergency reception and orientation centres and-or resettlement phase in line with the EU Reception Conditions Directive 2013/33/EU to support persons seeking asylum with particular regard to development and implementation of a vulnerability assessment. [30497/19]
The EU Reception Conditions Directive 2013/33/EU provides for the regular monitoring and provision of adequate supports for applicants in detention who are vulnerable persons, including their health.
The Department of Health and the HSE are actively involved in the government-led Refugee Programmes and the Cross-Department group. The HSE in addition plays a key role at a local level via Inter-Agency groups to plan and deliver the health services required in the Emergency Reception and Orientation Centres and in the locations where the refugees are eventually housed. Elements of health screening, registration with GPs, access to medical cards, provision of a range of primary care services have been integral to optimal resettlement of groups of refugees across the country.
In 2018, the HSE implemented initiatives to improve access to primary care services for refugees in emergency reception and orientation centres. These included chronic disease management, mental health supports and the oral health needs of children and adults. This work will continue in 2019.
The HSE is developing a health vulnerability assessment, as part of the vulnerability assessment under the EU Reception Conditions Directive 2013/33/EU. The HSE has carried out a consultation with various stakeholders as part of this process to meet the conditions of the Directive and to provide for any health needs of refugees and a report is being prepared.
As the Deputy’s question is a service matter it has been referred to the HSE for attention and direct reply.