Immigrant Health Service

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 six 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, and forensic medicine. 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 (psychiatry and psychology) 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 minimise trip to the hospital. In addition every attempt is made to combine 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. 

    We have affiliated services in Footscray (CoHealth), Craigieburn (partnership with Northern Hospital), Darebin (Plenty Valley Community Health) and Ringwood (EACH) - please see contact details for these services if needed.

    Referrals - key information

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

    • Reason for referral
    • Accurate contact details, case worker details where possible, all languages spoken (note dialect if relevant) and interpreter 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
    • Vaccinations given
    • Medications
    • Offshore migration (or HAP ID number if known) or 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

    Caseworker resources

    BUPA health examination letters - 2017

    As of late 2016 and early 2017, asylum seeker clients have been sent pro forma letters from DIBP requesting health examinations as part of the legacy caseload processing - to be completed at BUPA Medical Visa Services. These letters have been sent to individuals where there was no record of IHMS screening being completed - see asylum seekers page. 

    • Health assessment fees are reimbursed by the SRSS provider although the letter does not clarify this
    • Previous test results will be accepted by DIBP - please complete this spreadsheet with consent and email to health@border.gov.au (i.e. tests completed after release from detention can be used for the health assessment). 

    Other

    Immigrant health resources. Updated May 2017. Contact georgia.paxton@rch.org.au