National Traveller Health Action Plan is a welcome step towards tackling inequality
The first National Traveller Health Action Plan (NTHAP) delivers on a Programme for Government Commitment and is a welcome further step towards addressing inequality. I wholeheartedly support the plan’s objectives to improve the health experiences and health outcomes for Travellers. The Plan acknowledges the severe health inequalities that Travellers experience and barriers they may face in accessing services.
Many of us know that Traveller life expectancy is significantly lower than the national average but we possibly don’t understand the complexities and causalities. For this reason, I welcome the importance given to active Traveller participation in the Plan and the role of Traveller Health Units and Traveller Primary Health Care Projects.
I am delighted to hear that the Department of Health is providing ring-fenced funding of €1m in 2023 to support the implementation of the plan’s 45 actions, with a further €300,000 specifically for mental health services.
I believe this plan, when delivered in partnership with Travellers, will prevent disease, promote health and prolong life. I particularly welcome the additional funding to address the needs of Traveller women who experience homelessness and the inclusion of peer-led initiatives focused on Traveller men’s health to improve mental health and wellbeing.