SOUTH WESTERN MELBOURNE

Refugee Health

In the Western Metropolitan Region, Wyndham has seen a large settlement of refugees who have been granted humanitarian visas. From January 2001-January 2011, 9,409 Humanitarian visas were granted in the region, with 2,094 refugees settling in Wyndham. This makes up 22.25% of the western metropolitan region population.

Most of Australia’s refugees and asylum seekers come from refugee camps or urban settings that are marginalised, 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.

SWMML are providing training and support to General Practices to better understand the needs of our refugee community

Healthcare Professionals can find more information here