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Hospital utilisation among people born in refugee-source countries

Joy L Mendel and Claire E Brolan
Med J Aust 2007; 187 (8): 479-480.
Published online: 15 October 2007

To the Editor: We refer to the study reported by Correa-Velez and colleagues, which found lower hospital utilisation rates among patients from refugee-source countries compared with the Australian-born population in Victoria.1 As noted by the authors, there is a dearth of evidence on the use of health services by refugees. Their 6-year investigation stands as a singular study of its kind in Australia, and we recognise its potential to inform policy on refugee health care. However, we argue that the authors’ conclusion that “the Refugee and Humanitarian Program does not currently place a burden on the Australian hospital system” cannot be drawn from the data collected in the study.

  • Joy L Mendel
  • Claire E Brolan

  • Mater Health Services, Brisbane, QLD.

Correspondence: joy.mendel@mater.org.au

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