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Refugee Health Assessments

For more resources about Refugee Health Assessment see the Refugee Health Network Qld website.

Tips for GPs seeing a patient from a refugee background (Qld, 2015) 

Recommended Pathology investigations for newly arrived refugees including children.

Managing Refugee Health in your Practice - includes useful information about how to perform a Refugee Health Assessment (Dr. Margaret Kay, 2015)

ASID (Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases) Refugee Health Guidelines (2016) 

A refugee health assessment can be provided within 12 months of arrival.  As with all health assessments, consent is required before a health assessment is performed.  The item numbers  are the same as for all health assessments (703-707). The health assessment should include a detailed history, examination, problem list and a managment plan.  A copy of the health assessment should be provided to the patient.  There is details information about how to provide a health assessment within the MBS Schedule below.  There are a number of guides and templates to assist you in this task.  Further support is available through Refugee Health Connect.

Templates for Refugee Health Assessments

These templates were developed by General Practice, Victoria for the documentation of a refugee health assessment and cotnain relevant prompts to cover the information that needs to be collected.

  • Refugee Health Assessment Template (2012) - There is a pdf version which can be printed and completed by hand wtih a copy provided to the patient and a copy kept in the chart AND an rtf version of the template which will suit medical director and other medical software.
  • Instructions on how to download the Refugee Health Assessment Template and then upload to medical director are available here.  These instructions also contain valuable tips on how to conduct a Refugee Health Assessment.

Health Undertakings and Health Alerts

Some people who arrive as refugees, arrive with a health undertaking  and must seek further care for their health issue soon after arrival as a condition of their visa (e.g. for TB and HIV positive patients).  the settlement agency usually arranges the linkage with the health service required. 

Other people arrive with a health alert.  These patients were identified as having a health issue requiring medical care soon after arrival in Australia and the settlement agency is asked to facilitate this.  More information about these issues is available from Fact Sheets from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.


Translated Resources for Patients about Health Assessment

The following information can be given to a patient soon after arrival in Australia, prior to their first health assessment appointment. The sheet gives information about:

  • Why have health checks after you arrive in Australia?
  • What the health check involves
  • Why Vaccination is important
  • What should you bring with you?
  • What happens after the health check?
  • Confidentiality
  • Interpreters

Mater Integrated Refugee Health Service (MIRHS) Nurses use these information sheets with new arrivals in the following languages:

PDF version

Arabic Dari English
French Karen Kirundi
Somali Swahili Tigrinya


These information sheets are also available as a template to adapt for your own Practice or can be given to new arrivals by a local Settlement Agency. Please keep the acknowledgement to South Eastern Sydney Illawara NSW Health and Mater Health Services if you use these Information Sheets.

Word version

Arabic Dari English
French Karen Kirundi
Somali Swahili Tigrinya


Further reading and links



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