Wollongong has a long history as a place of settlement for refugees, with our growing population coming from a diverse range of ethnic and language groups.
Refugees commonly experience a range of hardships that can have major implications on health status and the delivery of health care. The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne website contains comprehensive information around refugees in Australia, the background, the response from Australia, specific health issues, pre-arrival screening, vaccines and catch-up immunisations.
The NSW Refugee Service, set up by the Department of Health in 1999 has a comprehensive site for refugee health services. The website provides a series of useful FAQ’s as well as information regarding common health issues.
In order to help you better manage the health concerns of your patients there are a range of fact sheets that highlight important information and alert you to specific needs and relevant services. There are also a range of health resources available for download in multiple languages. You may be eligible to claim an MBS health assessment for refugees and other humanitarian entrants which is separate and in addition to the medical assessment for visa grants.
How well you are able to communicate with your patients can have an impact on their health outcomes. GP’s can access a free priority line or you can access the Australian Government Translating and Interpreting Services . There are also useful resources to assist you to effectively translate appointment times and provide easy to follow picture based medication instructions.
Other useful resources that may support your work with refugee patients include: