Videos help refugees from Ukraine navigate health care
A TALLAGHT GP is featured in a newly launched series of HSE videos for recently arrived Ukrainians, to help them to navigate the Irish healthcare system.
Dr Kateryna Kachurets, who works as a GP in the Glenview Clinic in Tallaght, moved to Ireland from her hometown and Ukraine’s capital city, Kyiv, six years ago to complete her medical training.
When the war in Ukraine broke out in late February, Dr Kachurets and other Ireland-based Ukrainian medical professionals set up Medical Help Ukraine, in order to provide medical equipment to staff and hospitals in the besieged country.
However, Dr Kachurets is now also helping to contact Ukrainians who have recently arrived in Ireland through her involvement in the HSE’s ‘My Health, My Language’ initiative.
Launched last Monday by Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly TD, the initiative consists of a video series to help migrants navigate the Irish health system more easily and provide health information in multiple languages.
The series of multilingual videos on the Irish health service are delivered in 17 languages including Ukrainian, Urdu, Standard Chinese, Slovak, Romanian, Russian, Polish, Brazilian Portuguese and Lithuanian.
They were developed to make health advice more accessible to people from migrant communities living in Ireland.
Dr Kachurets appears in several of the Ukrainian videos, providing advice to Ukrainians in their native language about how the healthcare system can be accessed in Ireland.
The Tallaght-based doctor previously told the HSE about the disparity between the Irish and Ukrainian healthcare systems.
These disparities include a focus on secondary healthcare in Ukraine, meaning many patients in Ukraine normally attend a specialist first-line without any initial contact with a GP.
On-demand lab tests and imaging are also available in Ukraine – with no referral needed for any laboratory and patients can make their own decision about what diagnostic tests they require.
The videos, featuring Dr Kachurets, explain these differences to viewers and advise them on how to seek treatment within the Irish healthcare system.
Dr Kachurets said: “With the recent arrivals of Ukrainians to Ireland, it was important to record videos on Irish healthcare in my native language.
“These videos are a great resource for people from Ukraine whose healthcare system differs in many ways.
“Educating the newly arrived Ukrainians on various services available to them in Ireland and about screening programmes was of great value to them as well as the Irish healthcare professionals.
“As someone who has been practicing medicine here for the last six years, I can relate to the difficulties both doctors and patients are facing when there’s a language barrier.
“I believe that health promotion and education in one’s native language are paramount in facilitating better medical care as well as patient satisfaction.”
All of the ‘My Health, My Language’ videos are presented in a personal, relatable and culturally appropriate manner, using simple language.
The videos are presented by native speakers, who are also healthcare workers based in Ireland, and are available to watch on the HSE’s website HERE.