Developing Cultural Competence

Addressing the health needs of ethnic minorities living in Limerick, Clare and N. Tipperary

The HSE West will launch the report ‘Multicultural Health, An assessment of Health and Personal Social Service Needs relating to Ethnic Minority Groups within the Mid-West Area (Limerick, Clare, North Tipperary)’ on 14th May in Georgian House & Garden, 2 Pery Square, Limerick. The report, which is the result of a wide spread one year regional and local consultation process, is to be launched by Bernard.

In the relatively recent past, Ireland has experienced a rapid growth in ethnic, religious and cultural diversity and builds on the diversity that has always existed in Ireland. Census 2006 shows the population of the Mid West Area increased by 6.2% with the fastest growing flow coming from the EU New Member States. While the rich mix of diversity is welcomed, this change impacts on the demands and needs of the health service, its providers and its users.

The primary objectives of the research was to profile the ethnic minority communities in the Mid West area and to provide a framework to facilitate the process of meeting the health and personal social service needs of these groups. People from minority groups are at increased risk from poverty and social inclusion and are especially vulnerable. Language and cultural barriers along with racism and discrimination further compromise their health and well being. The recommendations from the report will advise the HSE West on the best way to plan and deliver care and support in an equal and effective way to all service users by responding appropriately to the spe cific health needs of new and well established minority communities. The key recommendations of the report are:

    • The provision of information in culturally appropriate and accessible formats including greater availability of professional interpretation and translation services.
    • To ensure that the HSE reflects the diversity of current Irish society and that there is commitment at all levels of the organisation to interculturalism and equality.
    • Greater staff awareness and understanding of the needs of different cultural, religious and ethnic groups.

To continue to work in partnership with minority ethnic communities, voluntary organisations and other relevant agencies to ensure their ongoing participation in service improvements through the development of a Multicultural Health Forum.


“I recently attended Alvina’s workshop on Cultural Diversity, I found the workshop to be interesting, thought provoking, refreshing and informative. The workshop was presented in a professional and relaxed manner. A thoroughly enjoyable learning experience.”