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HSE Launches the National Intercultural Health Strategy 2018 - 2023

The strategy can be read here

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Strategy launch

This strategy provides a comprehensive and integrated approach to addressing the many unique health and support needs experienced by the increasing numbers of HSE service users from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds who live in Ireland. These service users make up a diverse group in terms of country of origin, economic and social backgrounds, education and work experience, integration, and healthcare outcomes. Some are migrants (including foreign students, asylum seekers and refugees); some are members of the Traveller and Roma community. Some are newly arrived, while others are settled in established communities.


Various cross government strategies contain specific actions assigned to the HSE in respect of the health status, experiences and outcomes of members of minority ethnic communities across the country. This HSE National Intercultural Health Strategy represents a strategic response to integrating these actions, together with a range of additional specific health related actions arising from consultations, learning from implementation of the first HSE National Intercultural Health Strategy, and evidence from international and national research.


It comprises 3 key sections: Part 1 contains the strategy itself, including its vision, guiding principles, goals, strategic objectives within each goals, as well as actions required. Part 2 sets out the context and background to the development of this second Intercultural Health Strategy, the consultation process that informed its development, the evidence base for the strategy, together with relevant health system challenges and data collection issues. Part 3 sets out plans and future milestones for the development of a detailed implementation plan for the strategy.


Five main goals are outlined in the strategy:

  • Enhance accessibility of services to service users from diverse ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds

  • Address health issues experienced by service users from diverse ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds

  • Ensure provision of high quality, culturally responsive services to service users from diverse ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds

  • Build an evidence base

  • Strengthen partnerships working to enhance intercultural health.


Welcoming the publication of the Strategy, Catherine Byrne TD., Minister of State at the Department of Health with responsibility for Health Promotion and the National Drugs Strategy said, "This second National Intercultural Health Strategy builds on the capacity and effectiveness of our health service in meeting the diverse needs of migrants and minority ethnic groups in Ireland. In many cases, these individuals are very vulnerable and at risk of social exclusion. It is therefore vital that they can easily access high-quality healthcare which recognises their ethnicity and addresses their specific needs. Reducing health inequalities is a key priority under the Healthy Ireland framework, and this Strategy brings a renewed focus to promoting social inclusion in communities and improving the health and wellbeing of all migrants and ethnic groups living in Ireland now and into the future.”


David Stanton TD., Minister of State with special responsibility for Equality, Integration and Immigration said, “This National Intercultural Health Strategy is a very important integration milestone which fulfils a major commitment in the Migrant Integration Strategy.  More importantly it is a win for all of our society, helping to ensure that our health services are provided in a welcoming and inclusive way to all service users from diverse ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds.  The Department of Health and the HSE have shown strong leadership in bringing together relevant stakeholders to support their programme.  I am proud of the close working relationship that I, and my colleagues in the Office for the Promotion of Migrant Integration, have with Minister Byrne and with the HSE Social Inclusion Office.”


To learn more, visit the HSE’s Social Inclusion website and news page

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Strategy launch

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