Detention Health - Data Coding and Analysis Project
This project, commissioned by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, involved a retrospective case review of the health of a sample of 720 people held in detention in 2005/06.
The project was completed in February 2008 and Professor Kathy Eagar briefed the Minister of Immigration (Chris Evans) about the results at a meeting in parliament house in June 2008.
The Minister announced major changes to Australian detention policy on 29 July. In doing so, he said:
“The impacts on both the physical and mental health of the detainees are severe. Recent research undertaken by the Centre for Health Service Development at Wollongong University dramatically highlights the deleterious health impacts of long-term detention”.
The conclusions were published in the Medical Journal of Australia. The accompanying editorial pointed out:
“This is the largest Australian study to date of the health of people who have been in detention, and the first to follow up a cohort over an entire year. Studying the health of such people in the past in Australia has been challenging; five previous studies, although valuable, were necessarily small scale.”
For the whole of the editorial and more detail on these topical matters, see ‘Immigration detention and health’ by Christine B Phillips, Med J Aust 2010; 192 (2): 61-62.
The original article is entitled ‘The health of people in Australian immigration detention centres’ by Janette Green and Kathy Eagar, Med J Aust 2010; 192 (2): 65-70.