Foundation House, Brunswick, Australia, Victorian Refugee Health Network, Brunswick, Australia
On arrival health assessments are crucial for people from refugee backgrounds. Primary care are integral for the delivery of high quality clinical care including preventative health care, care coordination and the development of health literacy.
Two key resources to support this work are the Australian Refugee Health Practice Guide (the Guide) and the refugee health assessment template (the Template). Both of these resources were updated in 2017-2018.
Since the last updates of the Guide and the Template, there have been revised clinical recommendations as well as increased uptake in technology in general practice and other primary care contexts.
The Guide had a rigorous process of selecting clinical writers and reviewers, which ensured that all content was reviewed by refugee health experts and primary care experts. The Template project included more than thirty consultations with nurses and doctors working in a range of primary care settings. Advice from community liaison and bicultural workers from refugee backgrounds informed the development of both resources.
The Guide includes a comprehensive website, a hard copy ‘desktop guide’ and booklets on key topics. The website allows for integration with existing web based resources, and greater opportunity for updates as new clinical and other advice emerges. Topics include identifying patients from refugee backgrounds, communication and interpreters, whole of practice approaches, on arrival health assessment, effects of torture or other traumatic events and state-based referral information.
The Template is compatible with medical software, and supports general practices and other primary care providers to deliver comprehensive health assessments to people from refugee backgrounds in line with current clinical recommendations.
These updated resources assist general practices and other primary care providers to deliver high quality, comprehensive and appropriate on arrival and ongoing health care for people from refugee backgrounds, including people seeking asylum.