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Community Groups : Mayo Intercultural Action Last Updated: 2, Apr 2018 - 10:02

Community Participation in Primary Care Seminar
By Michelle Rooney
30, Apr 2010 - 17:27

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Ballina Migrant Health Forum is hosting a seminar Participating in Your Health Service on Tuesday 11th May from 11am to 1pm in Ballina Family Resource Centre. The Ballina Migrant Health Forum was formed in 2009 as part of a unique Community Participation in Primary Care Project in Ballina which was delivered by Mayo Intercultural Action in partnership with the Health Service Executive. The seminar is open to migrants, primary health care workers, community and voluntary groups and people with an interest in the promotion of community participation in health care structures. Speakers include Dr. Jane Pillinger, Independent Researcher and Policy Advisor, and Project Evaluator for the Joint Community Participation in Primary Care Initiative, along with representatives from the Health Service Executive and Mayo Intercultural Action.

The Ballina Migrant Health Forum (BMHF) is working to improve the health and well-being of migrants in Ballina and to promote migrants' participation in primary health care structures. The BMHF has members who are Brazilian, Polish, Nigerian, New Zealander, Kenyan, Afghan and Karen from Burma. These individuals are amongst the 8% non-Irish population in the Ballina area. The formation of the BMHF is part of a process to develop a wider community health forum to benefit all members of the community. A community health forum gives an opportunity for various elements of society in Ballina to work together on wide ranging issues that affect the well-being of members of the community.

Community Participation is a process that enables people to become involved in decision making on how services that affect their lives are delivered. Community participation in primary care aims to encourage and support people to work in partnership with their local Primary Care Team in the planning and delivery of primary health care services in their community. The Primary Care Team is the first point of contact with the health services. It is made up of several frontline disciplines including GPs, Public Health Nurses, Practice Nurses, Home Helps, Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, Social Workers and Admin support. There will be 14 Primary Care Teams developed in Co. Mayo.

Suzette Ruane of the BMHF said "the Ballina Migrant Health Forum gives a voice to migrants and a place to raise concerns and worries. The empowerment of migrant communities on such a vital issue as health is of huge benefit. Our health is our happiness and if we are not healthy we are not happy."

"Enabling people to become involved in the process of planning how health services are developed and delivered through the process of community participation has the potential to improve the effectiveness and quality of health services, and to reduce the health inequalities experienced by members of our community" added Michelle Rooney, Project Co-ordinator with Mayo Intercultural Action.

For further details about the Participating in Your Health seminar or the Primary Health Care Project please contact Michelle on 087 6712466 or email to

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