About the Immigrant Health Service

  • The immigrant health service includes a weekly outpatient clinic (Mondays 13:00 - 17:00 at desk A5), patient consultations, education for service providers and work in policy development. The service is supported by the Victorian Government Department of Health, including support for the refugee health fellow program.

    The clinic provides a multidisciplinary assessment service for recently arrived children of a refugee background, including medical and education/developmental assessment, oral health assessment and health promotion, immunisations, Mantoux testing and administration of Vitamin D as needed. Asylum seeker children and children in community or held detention are also seen. Post-arrival health screening can be provided if required.

    Staff include five doctors, a clinic coordinator, and a dental therapist. Male and female clinicians are available, one of the clinicians is Farsi speaking. As well as expertise in refugee health, staff have experience in general paediatrics, developmental paediatrics, forensic medicine and adolescent health. Interpreting, pathology, radiology and pharmacy services are available onsite, alongside all other hospital services, including social work and a medico-legal partnership service. Volunteers help families navigate the hospital. The immigrant health service uses secondary mental health consultation, and is also supported by a teacher from the RCH Education Institute. There are close links to primary health care providers, refugee health teams, the Royal Dental Hospital and settlement/community organisations working in refugee health.  

    All children within a family can be seen at the same visit to maximise efficiency; in addition every attempt is made to minimise trips to the hospital by combining appointments for other services (such as eye review and audiology) with clinic times. A detailed summary is provided for the referring doctor with an ongoing plan for management; families receive a copy of this letter. 

    Referrals - key information

    Referrals should be clearly marked to Immigrant health clinic (attention Helen Milton - see below) and can be sent through the normal outpatient referrals process.  Please include the following information:

    • Reason for referral
    • Accurate contact details, case worker support details where possible, all languages spoken (note dialect if relevant) and intepreter requirement
    • Medicare status and asylum seeker status
    • Any previous investigations - blood tests, radiology and other investigations - ideally including results, but a list of tests ordered is still helpful
    • Immunisations given
    • Medications
    • IHMS summaries if available

    The Community Detention Assistance Desk - 1800 725 518 is a useful source of information on people in Community Detention.

    Translated appointment reminder tools

    NSW refugee health appointment reminder translation tool. This resource allows clinicians to generate translated appointment reminders - it is quick and easy to use.

    Cancer Council Victoria multilingual printable appointment card

    Caseworker resources

    Caseworker resources (includes slides for education)

    Outer Northern Refugee Health Network - refugee health service directory for the Hume and Whittlesea regions


    Immigrant health resources. Updated April 2016. Contact georgia.paxton@rch.org.au