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The Refugee Health Network of Australia: towards national collaboration on health care for refugees

Christine B Phillips, Mitchell M Smith, Margaret Kay and Sue Casey
Med J Aust 2011; 195 (4): 185-186.

Until now, services have been poorly coordinated and individual practitioners unsupported

Each year Australia accepts around 14 000 refugees who have been forced to flee their homelands as a result of war and other traumatic events. The majority of these new arrivals have been assessed and granted permanent humanitarian visas offshore. Only a minority arrive by boat or aeroplane to seek asylum here.1 Among resettlement countries, Australia makes a significant contribution to the international effort, and our refugee settlement support services are laudable. However, we struggle at times to provide accessible and responsive health care services for refugees.

  • Christine B Phillips1
  • Mitchell M Smith2
  • Margaret Kay3
  • Sue Casey4

  • 1 Companion House Medical Service, Canberra, ACT.
  • 2 School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW.
  • 3 Discipline of General Practice, University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD.
  • 4 Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture, Melbourne, VIC.


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