Refugee Healthcare: Towards Healing Relationships

Geraldine Frances Duncan

Abstract


Do Australian doctors provide competent and appropriate healthcare to refugee patients? What facilitates pathways and removes barriers towards optimal healthcare?
This essay explores literature regarding health professionals’ abilities, when providing healthcare to refugees and asylum seekers towards optimal health status facilitating progress with their lives. It reflects upon factors affecting quality primary care delivery to refugees in Australia including reference to overseas literature.
Method: A literature search was undertaken including Google, Google Scholar, ANU online library; Factiva; Pub Med and the RACGP website. Ultimately 77 references were selected with nine themes identified regarding the provision of healthcare to refugees; particularly what aided development of healing relationships between doctors and refugee patients.
Conclusion: Australian studies do suggest that general practitioners have enthusiasm and resilience when working with refugees. Significant factors include sustainability of health-services, risk of burnout of providers, the need for peer support and the ability to control workload. Enablers include deriving strength and resilience from working with marginalised groups, recognition and pride in the advocacy role while valuing ethics and social justice issues in healthcare.

 

Keywords


Refugees; Primary health care; Minority healthcare; Health care access; Trust; Health literacy; Interpreter

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/7547

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