Responding to Migrant and Refugee Healthcare Needs in Ireland

Document Type : Perspective


1 School of Medicine, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland

2 School of Medicine, International Medical University, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


Human migration, both voluntary and precipitated by conflict and persecution, continues to pose challenges to the healthcare infrastructure of host countries. The scale of international migration to Ireland has increased substantially in recent years. Both economic migrants and refugees have complex health needs including those related to infectious diseases, malnourishment, gender-specific issues, cultural adaptation, and mental health. While all refugees are highly vulnerable to physical trauma and illness, this vulnerability is heightened for women and children. Linguistically and culturally accessible care for migrants is essential in developing trust in and respect for Western medicine. Integration of migrants and multiculturalism as a national policy has many benefits for the health of incoming migrants and society in general.


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