Information for Clinicians Looking after Former Refugees

Mangere assessment

Coordination and enrolment information on arrival Dunedin

Things to do before seeing a former a refugee patient/client

Some practitioners may receive referrals and get bookings for people from a refugee background. If you receive a request for a booking or a referral for a person from a refugee background, here are a few key things to be aware of.

1. Primary Care and Outpatient Appointments

If a volunteer is arranging the GP booking/appointment on behalf of a former refugee, confirm the time so volunteers or staff can arrange transport. Volunteers do not need to access personal information- standard health information privacy should be followed.

For referrals that come directly from Mangere or occur within the first two weeks of arriving in Dunedin, contact the Red Cross Client Services Team Leader on 03 477 1527 or 027 7635616 to confirm the time so volunteers can arrange transport.

For appointments or referrals that are urgent or are in the first three months of resettlement, contact the client directly or the Red Cross if you need assistance.

For routine appointments or follow up appointments, a standard letter can be sent to the person’s residence or the former refugee can be provided with an appointment card, with information regarding the time and place for the appointment. Volunteers will assist former refugees in learning how to interpret appointment letters as families settle into the community.

Former refugees can also access a phone service known as CAB Language Link to assist in understanding appointment times in their own language. Former refugees are also learning English and can ask Red Cross for assistance in interpreting written information as required.

For practitioners working in the SDHB provider arm. If your patient management system needs verification of residency, check iPM. If this has not yet been uploaded contact Dunedin Operations Centre.

2. Inpatient referrals

Treat this the same as a referral for any patients requiring inpatient care. If a referral occurs after hours, contact the duty manager to arrange an interpreter.

3. Ensure residency status

Make sure that your client/patient management system has listed the correct permanent residency status. Where interpreters are required, it is helpful if this is noted for ease of arranging future bookings.

4. Book an interpreter

Click here to see how to book an interpreter. Note that it is advised that double appointment times are made when using an interpreter.

5. Review useful resources

Recommended reading: Refugee Health Handbook for Health Professionals

Review SDHB website other information on training courses for working with people from a CALD background, working with interpreters and specific health needs.