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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 and Human Services (DHHS), including support for the refugee health fellows program.
Due to COVID-19, patients are currently booked for telehealth appointments wherever possible - to minimise transport and maintain social distancing. We still provide a comprehensive approach to physical and mental health for children and young people who arrived as refugees or seeking asylum, and will organise direct review as needed. The clinic provides a multidisciplinary assessment service, including medical and education/developmental assessment, mental health/psychiatry assessment, oral health assessment and health promotion, catch-up vaccinations, Mantoux testing and administration of Vitamin D as needed. Post-arrival health screening and age assessment can be provided if required.
From 2018 - we have introduced a combined refugee health and mental health service - staff include 4 consultant paediatricians, 2 fellows, a psychiatrist, paediatric mental health nurse, 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 child refugee health, staff have experience in general paediatrics, developmental paediatrics, autism assessment, forensic medicine, child and adolescent psychiatry and paediatric mental health nursing. Interpreting, pathology, radiology and pharmacy services are available onsite, alongside all other hospital services. Volunteers help families navigate the hospital. We have regular secondary mental health consultations, and we are also supported by a teacher from the RCH Education Institute. We have close links to primary health care providers, 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 trips 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. The service is free of charge for all refugee and asylum seeker children.
We have affiliated services in Footscray (CoHealth), Craigieburn, Darebin (Plenty Valley Community Health) and Ringwood (EACH) - please see contact details for other paediatric refugee services.
In 2020 we have two part time refugee health fellows, Dr Sophie Oldfield and Dr Linny Phuong. The fellows can be contacted for advice or coordination on firstname.lastname@example.org or 9345 5522, pager 7142 (weekdays).
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:
Based on our clinical experience, we think the following always warrant paediatric review in refugee/asylum seeker patients (and should be referred to a paediatrician):
Immigrant health resources. Updated May 2020. Contact email@example.com