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Refugee health

RefugeeHealthThe Brisbane South PHN (BSPHN) region is home to more than 68 per cent of Queensland’s refugee population. One of our key goals is to support people to access culturally appropriate healthcare. Our health literacy programs combined with refugee connect will help newly arrived refugees to learn more about the Australian health system.

Refugee Health Connect

BSPHN is working with general practices to become refugee friendly practices. By providing education and support, BSPHN is building the skills and capabilities of general practice to manage the care of refugee families in a culturally and clinically appropriate manner.

In partnership with the Mater Integrated Refugee Health Service and Metro South Hospital and Health Service, BSPHN has established Refugee Health Connect to support general practice treating refugees.

Practices will be provided with:

  • peer-to-peer education from BSPHN’s clinical leads – General Practitioners and practice nurses who have extensive experience in refugee health
  • cultural awareness training for all practice staff (General Practitioners, practice nurses, practice managers and reception staff)
  • access to in-house practice support and guidance for practice managers and reception staff.

Refugee Health Connect works closely with settlement support services, general practice and hospital-based support services to increase health access for refugees and assisting them to navigate the health system.

Support for refugee health

To view the large array of clinical and information resources available to you to support improving refugee health in the BSPHN region, click here.

If you would like to become a refugee friendly practice, contact your Area Account Manager via 1300 467 265.

Interpreting for Allied Health Professionals Program

Brisbane South PHN has established the Interpreting for Allied Health Professionals Program to:

  • support access to private allied health services for non-English speaking clients
  • ensure interpreter services are available to private allied health services to communicate with non-English speaking clients.

The program is available within the Brisbane South PHN catchment through a capped funding stream, and will be delivered by Translating and Interpreting Services (TIS) National at no cost to the allied health service until 30 June 2017.

The program includes access to immediate and pre-booked phone interpreting, and onsite interpreting. In return, allied health services must agree to complete cross-cultural / use of interpreter training, bulk-bill clients consulted under this program, and participate in a program evaluation survey.

This program will only be available to a limited number of allied health disciplines. Eligible disciplines include diabetes educators, dietitians, physiotherapists, exercise physiologists, podiatrists, dentists, optometrists, speech pathologists, audiologists and occupational therapists.

For more information, view the flyer and expression of interest under Related resources below.

Healthy Start

Healthy Start provides preventive health education for newly arrived refugees to increase their health literacy and help them navigate the Australian health system.
Healthy Start runs a one day workshop to deliver important information on:

  • healthy eating
  • booking a doctor’s appointment
  • dental health
  • men’s and women’s health
  • medication use and
  • immunisation.

Each workshop is delivered by health and medical students from Griffith University, Bond University, Queensland University of Technology and the University of Queensland. From its initial delivery by medical students, the program has grown to include students from nursing, dental, nutrition and dietetics backgrounds.

All Healthy Start workshops take place in conjunction with the Multicultural Development Association and interpreters are used to ensure the information is correctly received and understood.

BSPHN provides financial support to deliver Healthy Start in recognition of the unique health needs of refugees residing in our region. Healthy Start was created by Hope4Health, an organisation established in 2010 by a small team of Griffith University medical students. The program has now reached hundreds of refugees from Bhutan, Somalia and Karen who now live in the Brisbane region.


Multicultural Development Association
Access Community Services

Related resources