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The Joys and Challenges of Providing General Practice Services to Refugees and Asylum Seeker Patients.

The Joys and Challenges of Providing General Practice Services to Refugees and Asylum Seeker Patients.

Adelaide City General Practice, Adelaide, Australia


Adelaide City General Practice (ACGP) is a general practice located in the Adelaide CBD, accessible by public transport to patients from across the Adelaide region. ACGP currently has patients residing in 123 of the 125 postcodes covered by the greater Adelaide metropolitan area with refugee, asylum seeker or new arrival patients living in 92 of these postcodes.
Practice doctors, nursing and administration staff have a demonstrated special interest in the provision of services to refugees, asylum seekers (including people in community detention), and new arrivals. The practice is a teaching practice, providing opportunities for medical students and registrars to gain skills in working with new arrival and refugee patients.
We have forged significant relationships with refugee support agencies in the non-Government sector. We undertake regular Migrant Health Assessments for new arrivals, many of whom choose to continue their medical care at our practice. On an average day, 20- 25% of our patients are refugee or asylum seeker patients. The practice has new arrival and refugee patients covering a total of 24 language groups, some of which are not written languages. In addition to the routine use of telephone interpreters, we often have 4 to 7 interpreters on site per day.
As a private general practice we have developed strategies and processes in a range of areas to ensure that we provide best practice care to our refugee patients in an effective and efficient manner while respecting their cultural values.
These areas include:
• Working with interpreters
• Relationships with non-government agencies
• Providing resources and information in key languages for our patient demographic
• Staff commitment and education
• Clinical resource sourcing and development
• A formula for running special interest clinics
• Billing issues
• The ever changing status and visa landscape

Speakers: Sophie Piron