In 2012 the increase in the number of people seeking asylum in Australia required an urgent and coordinated response in the Greater Dandenong region of south eastern Melbourne to ensure local health services could meet the increased demand for health assistance. The collaborative approach and strategic responsiveness by the Red Cross (RC), South Eastern Melbourne Medicare Local (SEMML) and Monash Health (MH) resulted in the implementation of an innovative, Asylum Seeker integrated healthcare pathway.
The pathway has provided asylum seekers with an introduction to the Australian health system, delivered appropriate health services in a timely and culturally sensitive manner, and has helped to build individual capacity to use health services. 85% of asylum seekers requiring local care successfully attended primary health care service appointments within 2-3 weeks of arrival in Melbourne.
This report describes the integrated healthcare sessions for asylum seekers, summarises evaluation findings, and details recommendations to be considered for embedding a sustainable model.