There’s some confusion this week about the precise status of health supports for the refugees who are due to arrive in Ballaghaderreen.
Fianna Fáil TD Eugene Murphy has welcomed an allocation of €97,000 by the Department of Health to put in place health supports and interpretation facilities for the Syrian refugees – but Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice has expressed concern about what he says is a lack of planning with regard to provision of medical services.
Deputy Fitzmaurice criticised the “lack of proper planning” with regard to providing medical services for the refugees.
Deputy Fitzmaurice says the two GPs in the town, who “are already operating to capacity” have had just one meeting with the HSE on this matter since the announcement of the arrival of the refugees was made.
“As of this week no proper needs assessment of what the medical needs of the refugees might be has been forthcoming. The HSE say that they are organising a temporary mobile GP service to cater for the new arrivals, but this seems to me to be a last-minute solution, which does not properly address the needs of the people who are coming to Ballaghaderreen.
“No mention has been made about what the mental health needs of this group might be or whether they might need a child psychologist or other services in that regard and there is a lack of forward planning by the Department and the HSE in this regard.”
Deputy Fitzmaurice said he is contacting the relevant Ministers and the HSE this week to seek out answers.
In contrast, Fianna Fáil TD Eugene Murphy welcomed an allocation of €97,000 by the Department of Health to put in place health supports and interpretation facilities for the Syrian refugees.
Deputy Murphy said the Minister for Health Simon Harris had informed him on Friday last that the Department of Health had allocated €97,000 to the HSE from the Dormant Accounts Fund to put in place health supports and interpretation facilities for the new residents.
Welcoming the news, Deputy Murphy said: “However we must to continue to monitor the situation and ensure that such allocations are sufficient to meet the ongoing needs of the Syrian refugees.”