Addressing barriers to healthcare access for Roma: A community development approach

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Abstract

The Roma community in Europe has experienced persistent marginalisation and disadvantage over many generations, with Roma regularly experiencing problems of access to healthcare, accommodation, education and employment within the European context. Ireland is a relatively new destination for Roma migration and, as yet, the experiences of Roma in Ireland are under-researched. However, problematic access to healthcare has emerged as an issue faced by the Roma community in Ireland. With reference to the work of the Tallaght Roma Integration Project (TRIP), this article aims to illuminate some of the challenges faced by Roma in this regard. The work of TRIP is informed by community development principles, including concepts of participation and social solidarity. This article explores how community development can offer a framework through which the Roma community can engage collaboratively with service providers in order to highlight need and mobilise change in service provision.

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