NSW Refugee Health Plan – Literature Review
This project built on a related piece of work in 2009; a study of the health of people in immigration detention for the Department of Immigration and Citizenship. The 2010 review of the literature and current practice on models of care for refugee health was undertaken to support the update of the Refugee Health Plan for NSW Health. It informs how models of care have been changing and how best to develop services to meet the support needs of refugees.
Once refugees’ health needs are described, the key question is how best to respond to them. NSW Health issued its Strategic Directions in Refugee Health Care in NSW ten years ago to provide a framework and direction for service and strategy development in refugee health in NSW. In consideration of the significant changes in national government policies, major changes in the countries of origin of refugees and significant refugee health service developments in the last decade, a new plan for refugee health was developed to guide future service delivery.
The report and workshop involved in this project provides one plank in the planning process. Reviewing the literature on models of care across Australia and internationally informs how best to respond to the continuum of need and to guide the set of objectives, strategies and suitable measures that can be embodied in the new plan.
Government policies on refugee health within the jurisdictions and internationally should be informed by evidence from studies of the health of this marginalised and often traumatised group, as well as evidence about what works best in dealing with their needs.