The aim of the Refugee Oral Health Sector Capacity Building Project is to support and strengthen the capacity of public dental services in Victoria to deliver responsive oral health care with clients of refugee and asylum seeker background.
In response to the identified oral health needs of people of refugee backgrounds living in Victoria, the Department of Health has implemented two policies that identify refugees and asylum seekers as a priority access group and provide for fee exemption at public dental health services. Newly arrived refugees and asylum seekers are entitled to the next available appointment for general and denture care.
The Victorian Refugee Health Network, auspiced by the Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture (Foundation House), worked in partnership with Dental Health Services Victoria (DHSV) to implement a Department of Health (DH) funded Refugee Oral Health Capacity Building Project in February 2011 – July 2012.
The Project had being overseen by a Project Advisory Group that included oral health staff and clinicians, researchers, settlement services, DHSV and DH in order to share expertise and guide the project.
The project completed a rapid needs’ assessment with public dental staff and professional healthcare staff working with public dental services by means of an online survey. A literature review was conducted to gather information on health and dental service access and delivery with refugee and asylum seeker clients in Australia and similar settings. The result of our gap analysis demonstrated a need for learning and professional development around working with refugees and asylum seeker clients, and other resources to improve cross-cultural communication. (For the full report, go to Project Progress Report).
Several activities have resulted from the Refugee Oral Health Sector Capacity Building Project, including:
- Mapping and linking of oral health resources that are available onto this website; accessible through the Library.
- Development of a Model of Care for working with refugees and asylum seekers; see Model of Care: refugee and asylum seeker oral health
- A series of factsheets on identifying and caring for clients of refugee background, see:
Oral Health Factsheet 1: Identifying refugee and asylum seeker clients
Oral Health Factsheet 2: Working with refugee and asylum seeker clients
- Development and evaluation of a Targeted Education Program in refugee oral health
To learn more, read:
- Refugee Oral Health Sector Capacity Building Project Brief
- Project Progress Report (October 2011)
- Final Project Report (2013)
- For oral health referral information, go to Refer.
- For an introduction to refugee health and why it is important, visit Learn\Oral Health.
- For refugee oral health resources, visit Oral Health search results or our Library and search for oral health related items.