SOUTH WESTERN MELBOURNE

What is Refugee Health?

In the western metropolitan region, Wyndham has seen a large settlement of refugees who have been granted humanitarian visas. Between January 2001-2011, there were 9,409 Humanitarian visas granted in the region, with 2,094 refugees settling in Wyndham.

Most of Australia’s refugees and asylum seekers come from refugee camps or urban settings that are marginalised and often the most basic resources and services are not available. This includes safe drinking water, basic healthcare, education, shelter, safety and food supplies.

Many refugees have experienced traumatic events such as extended periods of deprivation, loss of identity and culture, human rights abuse and loss of family and community.

In most of these areas healthcare infrastructure is limited and often unable to provide acute and preventative health care.

Many refugees are likely to have multiple and complex health problems. These can be addressed through healthcare and support during the settlement process. Healthcare is a critical component in assisting with settlement.

The complex nature of refugee health conditions, including diseases rarely seen in Australia, combined with psychological trauma, cultural and language barriers makes providing healthcare for this group challenging.

Our role

SWMML are partnering with the Department of Health and Ageing, neighbouring Medicare Locals and specialised refugee services to ensure a coordinated approach to primary medical and other care for refugees settling in our region.

SWMML are providing training and support to general practices to better understand the healthcare needs of our refugee community.

Please contact Michel Maalouf for more information [email protected] or call 8731 6515

Healthcare Professionals can access more information here
Members of the community can access more information here