In this section
This page provides a guide for caseworkers on service access for refugee
and asylum seeker children and families. A presentation is available to provide
training on service access (see resources).
are free in an emergency
and public hospitals and related services are free
for all refugees and asylum seekers, including asylum seekers in Community Detention. See: Victorian Government information, Immicard and asylum seeker identification.
All permanent entrants to
Australia have a visa health assessment 3-12 months before they travel
to Australia (also see overview of the health requirement), Humanitarian entrants are offered an additional (voluntary) Departure Health Check in the week prior to travel. These assessments rule out public
health issues and make sure people are ‘fit to fly’. Health screening in
Immigration detention is similar to the visa health assessment. In practice screening for children is
extremely limited, including for children who have been in immigration
A ‘refugee health assessment’ is recommended for all people of refugee or asylum seeker
background after they arrive in Australia, including after they are released
Have they had:
Have the results been
checked? Have abnormal results
been treated? The screening and
follow up of results will take at least 2 visits.
immunisations are provided through GPs, MCHN or local councils, (see Raising
Children website for directory by postcode). They may also be provided at English
language school (through outreach council programs) and paediatric refugee
health specialist clinics or hospital based specialist clinics.
Refugee health teams provide advice on referral pathways and services.
See directory of local teams.
General Practitioners (GPs) can provide general health and
mental health care, catch-up immunisations, and refugee health screening. GPs
are available through community health centres (free), local bulk-billing
doctors (free, see Vic Department of Human Services directory) or local private doctors (fees vary and there may be gap
payments). Bilingual language doctors are available. Refugee health teams will know of local GPs
with refugee health experience.
Community detention –
people need to attend their International Health and Medical Service (IHMS)
approved general practitioner. There is currently no publicly available list of providers.
Maternal and Child Health Service (MCH) is free and supports parenting and children’s health and development from birth until school age. MCH provide advice on playgroups and community programs, some MCH services provide immunisation. Routine checks are due at birth, 2w, 4w, 8w, 4m, 8m, 12m, 18m, 2y and 3.5yrs. See directory of MCH services. See local service directory.
See summary of information. Registered pharmacists have access to Translation and Interpreting Services (TIS).
are free to all refugees and asylum seekers, and all children aged 0 – 12 years – these
groups are identified as priority
access groups. See local service
checks can be accessed at commercial bulk-billing
optometrists for clients with Medicare or at the Australian College Optometry
(and associated metropolitan outreach clinics and regional access), which also has affordable glasses. School age children may have their vision
check at school entry (this varies).
checks can be accessed at audiology
services – see directory.
Hearing aids are available through Australian Hearing.
occupational therapy and speech therapy are
is essential for children’s development and to prepare them for school – see
advocacy/consumer liaison is available in all hospitals for
all patients, and is an important resource for progressing concerns or adverse
events, or providing positive/other feedback.
Services - Interpreter services are a right and entitlement for families with low
Community detention: TIS can be accessed for health care of all clients
in community detention (see detail in presentation below).