Tools and support for Health Professionals
Many people from refugee backgrounds, including people seeking asylum, have higher rates of long-term physical and psychological problems than other migrants, due in large part to their pre-immigration experiences, which are compounded by post-migration factors. People from refugee backgrounds can experience barriers when accessing primary care and other services. These may be related to trauma symptoms associated with the refugee experience, language, culture, health system literacy, lack of appropriate services, socioeconomic disadvantage as well as policies that restrict eligibility to health and other services.
Accessible primary care is ideally suited to providing an incremental, patient-directed approach to long-term care and recovery for refugee patients in Australia. Developing continuity of care for patients from refugee backgrounds can be promoted by a whole-of-practice approach with attention to trauma-informed care.
For information about approaches to care for people from a refugee background please see the Refugee Health Guide.
Refugee Health Fellows Program
The Department of Health in Victoria has funded Refugee Health fellow positions to provide support and advice to health professionals. Fellows are available by telephone and can often arrange to see you in your practice. Fellows can offer assistance with diagnosis and management, and can provide information on referral pathways for refugee and asylum seeker clients.Find out more
Your local Refugee Health Nurse
Speak with your local Refugee Health Program about how they can support you. Refugee health nurses and allied health staff are located in community health centres in areas of high refugee settlement. Refugee health nurses can provide advice on primary and specialist referral, as well as referral to relevant community groups and community services.Visit
Medical Practitioner Priority Line for free Interpreting services
Private medical practitioners and their practice staff can access free Interpreting Services to provide Medicare rebatable services to anyone in Australia who is eligible for Medicare. This service is available 24 hours a day, every day of the year.Find out more
The Australian Refugee Health Practice Guide
The Australian Refugee Health Practice Guide can be used by doctors, nurses and other primary care providers to inform on-arrival and ongoing health care for people from refugee backgrounds, including people seeking asylum.Visit
Migrant & Refugee Health Partnership Resources
Overview of cultural competence in professional education, training and standard setting for clinicians.
Good practice approaches in facilitating primary health care delivery to migrants and refugees: The role of primary health networks.
This resource provides links to many additional services including food, housing, material aid, health providers, counselling etc.Visit
HealthPathways offers clinicians locally agreed information to make the right decisions together with patients, at the point of care. The pathways are designed primarily for general practice teams, but are also available to specialists, allied health professionals, and other health professionals in your region.Visit
NSW Refugee Health Service
The NSW Refugee Health Service (RHS) is a state-wide service, funded by the Ministry of Health. It provides a range of clinical services and medical assessments for recently arrived refugees and asylum seekers. Activities also include policy input, research, projects and a range of health promotion initiatives.Visit
The NSW Multicultural Health Communication Service’s online Appointment Reminder Translation Tool allows you to translate appointment details into your client’s language.Visit
Multilingual printable appointment card
The multilingual appointment card has been developed by Cancer Council Victoria to help culturally and linguistically diverse Australians more easily access healthcare appointments.Visit
TIS National promotional materials catalogue
The Translating and Interpreting service (TIS National) provides a range of promotional materials to assist you and your clients to access our services. TIS National provides a range of promotional products in electronic format for you to view, print or save immediately.Visit
Health Translations is a free online library of high-quality translated Australian health and wellbeing information. Made for Australian health practitioners and people who work with culturally and linguistically diverse communities, the site provides quick access to a wealth of reliable resources.Visit
Easidose is a prescribing aid addressing language and literacy barriers. Easidose uses colour coding for medications, and picture based instructions for dose, frequency, duration and special conditions.Visit
General Practice Engagement Project
In late 2014, the Network began work on a dedicated project to engage and support more general practices in Victoria to work with people from refugee backgrounds. This project builds on the work of many others in the sector, including Refugee Health Nurses, Refugee Health Fellows and the former Medicare Locals, who have done substantial capacity building with general practice to ensure accessible and appropriate health care in general practice for people from refugee backgrounds.View Document
Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) Item
Previously there was an MBS item that specifically provided the billable means for General Practitioners to conduct a ‘Health assessment for refugees and other humanitarian entrants’ (Items 714 and 716). Explanatory notes regarding this assessment provide detailed points of references and expected practice standards for general medical services set out according to the Medicare Benefits Schedule Book. These specific MBS items recognised that differing practice standards for health assessments are required for this cohort consistent with good clinical practice. More details on these MBS Items are available here on Page 50-53.Visit
The STAR-MH (Screening Tool for Asylum-seeker and Refugee Mental Health) is a simple mental health screening tool developed for non-mental health trained workers to identify likely post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and major depressive disorder in their asylum-seeking and new refugee clients.Visit
Is your practice refugee health ready?
This guide provides a quick-reference guide to General Practices considering or currently providing health care services to people from a refugee background. It is not an exhaustive list but aims to serve as a tool to support health care for this population group and the development of appropriate primary care services.Visit
Competency Standards Framework for Clinicians
The Competency Standards Framework (the Framework) establishes recommended and optimal cultural responsiveness competency standards for clinicians in all healthcare settings. The Framework is aimed exclusively at clinicians and inform the development of clinical education, training, professional development curricula and competency standards for clinicians.Visit
Refugee Health Assessment
The Refugee Health Assessment Template 2018 (the Template) considers the primary care context including workflow and whole of practice approaches and will assist primary care providers to deliver high quality on arrival health care for people from refugee backgrounds.Find out more
2022 RACGP curriculum and syllabus for Australian general practice
The curriculum and syllabus describe the key competency and learning outcomes of GP education. It informs the development and delivery of training programs including CPD and guides learners by suggesting learning modalities and educational resources as they work towards Fellowship. It also serves as a guide to assist with remediation and GPs returning to work after absence.Visit
Comprehensive post-arrival health assessment
Recommendations for comprehensive post-arrival health assessment for people from refugee-like backgrounds. On behalf of the Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases and Refugee Health Network of Australia.View Document