College representatives attend Oireachtas Joint Committee on Key Issues affecting the Traveller Community
Members of the traveller community die younger, and have higher levels of respiratory illness, infant mortality and mental health problems than the general population. General practitioners are the main point of contact for accessing health services for the vast majority of the traveller population. The 2010 All Ireland Traveller Health Study found that up to 91% of travellers obtain their health information from GPs. The Joint Committee on Key Issues affecting the traveller community heard the views of the ICGP regarding travellers’ health today (Tuesday Nov. 5th), and how outcomes can be improved.
Cork-based GP and President of the ICGP, Dr Mary Favier, represented the College with the ICGP’s Medical Director Dr Tony Cox.
“Travellers should have improved access, participation rates and outcomes in the health care system,” Dr Favier said. “The very high prevalence of suicide amongst travellers is of particular concern. Measures that would help include sessional counselling in general practice, culturally-appropriate awareness campaigns, and out-reach services signposted in primary care.”
Dr Tony Cox added: “The health differences between travellers and the general population are avoidable, and with appropriate resourcing and planning, these issues can and should be addressed urgently. The ICGP looks forward to playing a significant role in this area.”
Media queries: Aileen O’Meara, Communications Consultant, Irish College of General Practitioners.
Tel. 01 2542984 / 087 2239830