Migrant Women’s Awareness, Experiences and Perceptions of Health Services in Limerick (2012)

AkiDwA and Doras Luimní partnered for this project funded by the Health Services Executive, aiming to explore health experiences and service access for migrant women in Limerick.

Foreword and Acknowledgements

This project was undertaken through a partnership formed between AkiDwA and Doras Luimní and it was funded by the Health Services Executive.

Our aim was to engage with migrant women living in the greater Limerick area to explore understandings of health and wellbeing, experiences of access to health services, and perceptions of accessibility and appropriateness of the services. A participatory, mixed methods approach was employed involving a series of four workshops and a short questionnaire survey.

The data gathered gave us an insight into the levels of awareness and service usage amongst this group of local migrant women and a sense of some of the factors affecting their experiences of health services. It is important to appreciate the positive points to take from the findings. Chiefly, the good general awareness of health services amongst the women, and their overall positive experiences of accessing services.

It is important to also recognise and act upon the areas where there is room for improvement. The main focus of dissatisfaction regarding access and availability of services centred on delays and information, while communicative barriers and intercultural competence emerged as a concern regarding the quality and appropriateness of service delivery.

The experience of undertaking this joint project between AkiDwA and Doras Luimní, with the support of the HSE, has strengthened the collaborative relationships between our organisations. We are very pleased to have taken part in this project and we hope that this report will contribute towards ongoing efforts to promote full and equitable access to health services for all members of the community.

We wish to acknowledge the contribution of all involved this project, not least the women who shared their experiences and perceptions and made this project possible. Thanks also to the team who prepared and coordinated the workshops and questionnaire, compiled and analysed the results, and wrote the report: Alwiye Xuseyn, Leonie Kerins, Maria Kirwisa, Siobhán Ní Chatháin and Elham Teymoor