Refugee and asylum seeker health
WWG specialises in refugee and asylum seeker health. We provide culturally safe, holistic, family centred and integrated care to vulnerable people to reduce long term health inequity.
Providing ongoing health care to people from refugee backgrounds, no matter how long they have been in Australia, is an important part of our mission. Our practitioners care for:
- people who are at the early stages of their settlement
- people who have lived here for many years
- people who live nearby and others who choose to travel significant distances to attend our service.
We aspire to ensure that no one “falls through the cracks” by providing a service that is culturally responsive, innovative and flexible to the needs of our valued clients. In a health system that can be difficult to navigate, this is a key priority.
One aspect of WWG’s work with refugees is to coordinate the initial health care for people arriving in Brisbane flagged by immigration with health concerns. This is in partnership with Multicultural Australia, the refugee settlement service in Queensland. WWG triages these refugees before they arrive by reviewing any available health information. Shortly after arrival, our doctors perform a medical assessment on the person of concern, and their immediate family members. Follow up appointments ensure that identified health concerns are managed appropriately. Following this process, a referral to a GP practice more conveniently located to their home is coordinated. Refugee Health Connect assists with these links and provides ongoing support to these practices.
Our team has a high level of expertise in:
- Refugee and asylum seeker health assessments
- Catch-up immunisations for refugees
- Cross-cultural mental health care
- Refugee health screening
- Injury and trauma rehabilitation
- Refugee dietetics
- Refugee women’s health issues including female genital mutilation
- Health promotion with culturally and linguistically diverse populations
- Holistic approach to refugee health and wellbeing
- Cultural competence in healthcare including working with interpreters
Asylum seeker health
We have provided essential health care for thousands of people seeking asylum. Many people seeking asylum experience Medicare ineligibility for extended times and this acts as a strong barrier to accessing health care and mental health support. Our clinic provides seamless health services regardless of Medicare eligibility. We also provide food and personal care items to people seeking asylum when previous supports such as case management and income support can no longer be accessed. We work with homelessness prevention services whenever possible but unfortunately a growing proportion of our asylum seeker clients are now homeless.
Our clinic has a part-time Nurse Advocate dedicated specifically for people seeking asylum. This is funded by the Queensland Government Asylum Seeker and Refugee Assistance (ASRA) Program.
Duties of the Nurse Advocate:
· Provide clinical and nursing support to people seeking asylum
· Triage and respond to immediate health needs of clients at the clinic and at outreach locations such at the specialised Hubs that have been established for people seeking asylum
· Provide advocacy, follow up and pro-active liaison with external agencies for optimum client care.
· Manage quality and risk in relation to health concerns
For more information about the plight of people seeking asylum in Australia, refer to this article.
How you can support our work
Our clinic provides pro bono medical care and medications to people seeking asylum. Every year we raise funds to continue this important humanitarian work. Please support us with a donation (click the donate button at the top of this page) and attend our annual fundraisers! You may also drop in groceries to our community pantry. Thank you for your support.