Australian Journal of Primary Health Australian Journal of Primary Health Society
The issues influencing community health services and primary health care
RESEARCH ARTICLE

An integrated healthcare service for asylum seekers and refugees in the South-Eastern Region of Melbourne: Monash Health Refugee Health and Wellbeing

Jacquie McBride A , Andrew Block A B and Alana Russo A C
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Refugee Health Program, Monash Health, 122 Thomas Street, Dandenong, Vic. 3175, Australia.

B Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University, Vic. 3800, Australia.

C Corresponding author. Email: alana.russo@monashhealth.org

Australian Journal of Primary Health 23(4) 323-328 https://doi.org/10.1071/PY16092
Submitted: 29 July 2016  Accepted: 5 May 2017   Published: 31 July 2017

Abstract

Asylum seekers and refugees generally have poorer health than the broader Australian population. However, these groups experience a range of barriers to accessing universal health services. Generalist and specialist refugee health services have been established in Australia to improve the health of humanitarian migrant groups. This article describes a refugee health service established in a high-settlement region of Melbourne, Australia, and explores clients’ experiences with the service. Client feedback was captured through interviews (n = 18) and surveys (n = 159). Participants reported high levels of satisfaction with the service, and highlighted the value in having trusting relationships with staff, access to bicultural workers, onsite interpreting services and integrated care. The findings indicate that it is possible to engage asylum seekers and refugees through healthcare delivery that is responsive to the unique needs of this priority population.

Additional keywords: immigrant health, primary health, refugee, service models, vulnerable populations.


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