Cabrini Health has announced the development of an asylum seeker and refugee health hub, a much needed service in Melbourne’s inner-north. The new service, will provide healthcare services for asylum seekers and refugees.
“Cabrini is committed to making a difference to the disadvantage faced by asylum seekers and refugees,” says Dr. Michael Walsh, Chief Executive of Cabrini. “We believe that working collaboratively is the most effective way to address disadvantage and will lead to the best health outcomes for the people we want to serve.”
[The state of] Victoria has one of the highest asylum seeker and refugee settlement numbers in Australia. Many asylum seekers in our community have neither work rights nor access to government benefits such as Medicare, Centrelink, housing or emergency relief.
“Our approach is based on strong partnerships with public and private hospitals, community health agencies, asylum seeker/refugee services and others who want to make a difference to the plight of asylum seekers and refugees,” said Dr Walsh. “We are grateful to the many agencies who have supported the concept and look forward to others joining with us over time to enhance our capacity.”
Initial services will begin by the end of May 2016 with GP clinics and specialist mental health services to be offered first. Chronic disease management, maternal and child health and infectious disease management, as well as social, emotional and spiritual support services, will follow.
“Clustering these services in one location will enhance access and facilitate a person-centred, integrated approach to primary and specialist care for this vulnerable group,” said Dr. Walsh.
The Cabrini Asylum Seeker and Refugee Health Hub will complement health services offered by the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre in Melbourne’s west and Monash Health in the southern suburbs. Medicare-ineligible asylum seekers will be given priority access to our services, at no cost.