PP-374 : Experiences in a General Practice Refugee Assessment Clinic

Author(s): 
Gerard Gill, Andrew Hodson, Maxine Manifold, Sue Saltmarsh, Australia
Text: 
To describe the working and experiences of a GP run Refugee Heath Assessment Clinic in Australia.

Australia takes a number of refugees on a humanitarian basis. Most are from backgrounds with a poor knowledge of English, have very small numbers of local residents who speak their native language, and have spent many years in refugee camps. In Launceston Tasmania, the local GP organisation, GP North, has established a specific refugee health assessment service to deal with acute health problems in recently arrived refugees, screen for imported infectious diseases, and provide immunisation services to bring all refugees up to the recommended Australian schedule.

In the period 1 Jul 2008 to 30 June 2009 136 new refugees arrived. They came from Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Burma, West Africa and from Bhutan. 227 specific problems of anaemia, vitamin D deficiency, intestinal parasites, schistosomiasis, Helicobacter pylori and chronic viral hepatitis were found on systematic investigation. Dental caries, NIDDM and other chronic illness were also uncovered and dealt with.

A specific GP run assessment clinic enables refugees to be systematically assessed, treatment initiated and then transferred to routine general practice care.