By Angie Murphy
In Fatima Mansions, truly in the heart of Dublin, Rita Garland and four colleagues currently run a successful clinic offering both free and affordable homeopathic care for residents. On Tuesday evenings, residents in the area can avail of homeopathy, reiki, acupuncture and massage on a drop-in basis.
The consultations are subsidised, which means that the practitioners get paid for the first three visits, by the Fatima Heath Initiative. If the patient considers that homeopathy has been helpful to them, all subsequent visits are paid for by the patient at a very affordable rate. “This format has worked quite well for our patients,” says Rita, “because it makes the initial choice of visiting us quite an easy one. It works very well for us also, because by being paid, we don’t feel depleted or devalued.”
There are two health rooms specifically allocated for the holistic sessions and, proudly displayed, in one of them is the collection of remedies very kindly donated by Nelson’s Homeopathic Dispensary in Dublin.
Fatima Health Initiative has also recently won a Crystal Clear MSD Health Literacy Award 2010 – this prize acknowledges the high standard of effective communication which is part of the FHI culture.
“We work with a flexible and competent team of health workers,” Rita reminds us, “namely Róisín Ryder and Anne Malone. These are the people who promote our work and schedule appointments for us. They are a vital link between the community and the services offered in our centre.”