Refugee Health and Wellbeing

Monash Health Refugee Health and Wellbeing service provides comprehensive primary care services together with tertiary services including infectious diseases, paediatrics and psychiatry.

About Refugee Health and Wellbeing

Our Purpose

We exist to help people transition from surviving to thriving. We enable individuals and the wider community to achieve their fullest potential.

Our Service

Monash Health Refugee Health and Wellbeing service provides comprehensive primary care services together with tertiary services including infectious diseases, paediatrics and psychiatry.

A Refugee Health Nurse on Triage service is also available daily to support local agencies in determining where to refer clients and how to make an appropriate referral.

Adding to this suite of services is the Refugee Health Nurse Liaison at Dandenong Hospital. This service aims to enhance access, quality of care and care coordination for refugees and asylum seekers within the acute sector, whilst at the same time improving the interface between hospital services, primary care and other providers. Monash Health community based services engage extensively with this hospital based service together with Monash Health Services more broadly.

Monash Health Refugee Health and Wellbeing is committed to building regional capacity to respond to the needs of refugees and is funded to employ a Refugee Health Fellow for the South East of Melbourne. The Fellow is pivotal to the regions capacity building activity and is available to support organisations/ providers in meeting learning and development needs.

True to its purpose of ” surviving to thriving” we are committed to addressing the determinants of health; recognising that health is so much more than the absence of disease. As such, the service provides a range of innovative social inclusion activities which aim to build community whilst also promoting health and wellbeing and health literacy. These activities acknowledge that meaningful connection and purpose is integral to recovery and is thereby fundamental in supporting the transition of refugees and asylum seekers from pre-migration/migration survival, to becoming capable, contributing thriving members of our community.

Primary Care

Monash Health Refugee Health and Wellbeing is a specialist refugee health service and does not intend to replicate the universal service that community GP’s and others provide. Rather, this service is designed to provide intensive medical, nursing and allied health services, for refugees or asylum seekers with complex medical conditions and/or social/ emotional concerns. Clients referred to this service require comprehensive medical assessment/intervention and/ or refugee health nurse support, and benefit from an integrated multi-disciplinary intervention.

The service prioritises those clients with complex health needs but also accepts referrals for clients identified as particularly vulnerable for example those without access to Medicare. This service aims to support clients during a period of intensive need, transitioning clients to community GP’s when and where appropriate.

Services

  • Health assessment and intervention
  • Refugee health nurse services/ support
  • Complex case management
  • Allied health services for adults and children for example; counselling, physiotherapy, developmental assessments.
  • Immunization
  • Women’s health
  • Anti-natal, postnatal and parenting support

Appropriate referrals

  • Clients with complex medical needs who would benefit from an integrated, multidisciplinary model
  • Those who have clients who are being treated for active TB, latent TB or have been exposed to TB and require ongoing monitoring
  • Clients with significant mental health issues for example; history of self-harm/suicide attempts, previous psychiatric care, psychosis etc.
  • Pregnant women or new mothers
  • Families, particularly those with children under 5 years
  • Clients without Medicare access
  • Clients with “other” significant vulnerability

Other services

Social inclusion / employment / education

  • Soccer, cricket
  • Women’s groups
  • Volunteering and meaningful engagement activities
  • Health literacy and education

Refugee Health Nurse Liaison

This service is available to support clients requiring hospital based services.  Contacting the Refugee Health Nurse Liaison may be of benefit when referring a patient to Emergency Department (ED), if a client has been admitted and requires inpatient follow up or if discharge information regarding client management /discharge planning is required.

Adult Infectious Disease and Internal Medicine

Monash Health Refugee Health and Wellbeing provides a tertiary referral medical service for adults aged 17 years and over presenting with a range of health issues including:

• Latent TB infection
• Chronic viral hepatitis (B and C)
• Other infectious diseases
• Chronic medical conditions

The adult infectious diseases and internal medicine clinic is part of the integrated refugee health service located at 122 Thomas Street, Dandenong, and as such patients have access to the broader refugee health team.

The clinic is for asylum seeker and refugee patients who require non-urgent medical care. The primary focus is infectious diseases, but other medical conditions and diagnostic problems can be addressed. If more specialised investigation or management is required, patients may be referred to sub-specialty clinical services elsewhere in Monash Health.

Referrals will be accepted from a treating GP/doctor and triaged weekly by the physician and Refugee Health Nurse allocated to the clinic. In order to assist with triage and ensure timely access to care, we request that all referrals are accompanied by:

  • Completed ‘GP Referral Form’
  • Immunisation status including catch up immunisation schedule if in place
  • Copies of pathology and screening results, including:
  • Full blood count/film
  • Liver function tests
  • Iron, Vitamin D, Calcium, Phosphate, and Vitamin B12
  • Folate (if there are nutritional or developmental concerns)
  • Mantoux test/QuantiFERON Gold®
  • Malaria screen
  • Hepatitis B serology (HBsAg, HBsAb, HBcAb)
  • Hepatitis C serology (HCV antibodies)
  • Schistosoma and Strongyloides serology (faecal specimen)
  • STI screen (N. gonorrhoeae and C. trachomatis, urine nucleic acid detection, syphilis serology, HIV serology)
  • Chest X-ray
  • Details of any treatment commenced and current medication

Paediatrics

Monash Health Refugee Health and Wellbeing provides a paediatric tertiary referral medical service for children aged 0-17 years presenting with a range of health issues including:

  • General and developmental / behavioural paediatrics
  • Latent TB infection
  • Infectious diseases
  • Vitamin D deficiency – providing vitamin D (as vitamin D3 100,000IU/ml in olive oil) to vitamin D deficient children (‘stoss dosing’)

The paediatric clinic is part of the integrated refugee health service located at 122 Thomas Street, Dandenong, and as such patients have access to the broader refugee health team.

The clinic is for asylum seeker and refugee patients who require non-urgent paediatric care. Please note, paediatric subspecialty referrals should be forwarded directly to the relevant unit.

Referrals will be accepted from a treating GP / doctor and triaged weekly by the Paediatrician and Refugee Health Nurse allocated to the clinic. In order to assist with triage and ensure timely access to care, we request that all referrals are accompanied by:

  • Completed ‘GP Referral Form’
  • Immunization status, including catch up immunization schedule if in place
  • Copies of pathology results including; Full blood count / film, ALP, Ferritin, Vitamin D, Vitamin A, Calcium, B12/Folate*, Phosphate, Mantoux test, Malaria screen, Hepatitis B serology (HBsAg, HBsAb, HBcAb), Hepatitis C serology (HCV antibodies), Schistosoma serology, Strongyloides serology (faecal specimen), STI screen**

*If there are nutritional or developmental concerns

**(N. gonorrhoea and C. Trachomatis, urine nucleic acid detection, syphilis serology, HIV serology in sexually active adolescents, or history of sexual violence, or if positive syphilis/HIV
serology in their mother/father)

  • Details of any treatment commenced

Psychiatry

Monash Health Refugee Health and Wellbeing provides a psychiatry service for adults aged 25 -65 years, presenting with a range of mental health issues, including:

  • A history of trauma / torture;
  • Depression;
  • Anxiety;
  • Complex grief and loss

The psychiatry service is part of the integrated Refugee Health and Wellbeing service located in Dandenong, and as such, clients also have access to the broader multidisciplinary team, including psychological support.

This clinic is for asylum seekers and refugee patients who require non-urgent psychiatric care.

Referrals will be accepted from a treating GP/doctor. Clients referred to this service should not be experiencing acute psychotic symptomology or acute suicidal, homicidal ideation, or have a known history of aggressive behaviour.

In order to assist with triage and ensure timely access to care, we request that all referrals are inclusive of the following information:

  • Previous mental Health diagnosis
  • Details of previous mental health services
  • Torture and trauma history
  • Current medications
  • History of suicidal ideation, homicidal ideation, aggression, psychosis

The psychiatry service is also available to provide primary, secondary and tertiary consultation to the region including, SRSS, health practitioners and other mental health service providers.

Contact information

Address

Refugee Health and Wellbeing
Level 1, 122 Thomas Street
Dandenong VIC 3175

Hours

Open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm

Phone

Refugee Triage Nurse

(03) 9792 8100

Phone

Refugee Nurse Liaison

(03) 9554 9776

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