RHeaNA Summaries

Executive National Teleconference  – Summary of Meetings

 

Tuesday 10 April 2018

  • Executive members discussed issues around HAPlite system and information flow. The introduction of HAPlite is more straight forward in some state/territories and not for others. Queensland wrote a letter to the Department of Social Services to request an extension of the interim arrangements.
  • The executive discuss the imminent changes in the Status Resolution Support Services and the impact this may have on people seeking asylum. The impact of short bridging visas on accessing Medicare and work rights was also raised.
  • An update about National Disability Insurance Scheme was provided that included the various challenges for access across the states and within each state.
  • Some states are pursuing advocacy around access to IGRA screening for people from refugee backgrounds.

 

6 February 2018 

  • Discussed issues around HAPLite system and information flows into the settlement reports for new settlement contract. Working well for some state/territories and not for others. Points raised during discussion – Qld not receiving any health info when refugees arrive, settlement reports not being received before refugees arrive, health alert system not working potential alerts not coming through and often missed. Ongoing challenges regarding DSS and DHA and taking responsibility of this issue.
  • Short-term visas and accessing Medicare for some asylum seekers who arrived by boat.
  • Family violence screenings during refugee health assessment: when is it appropriate to ask? Differences across the states and stakeholders regarding timeframes.
  • NDIS update and differences/challenges for access across the states and within each state.
  • Refugee Nurses Australia also advocated for improvement in access to health settlement reports, and the ongoing development of nurse standard and competencies.
  • Research into Google Translate by ANU, regarding accuracy and safety in medical situations with patients with limited English proficiency.
  • Ongoing TB discussion around IGRA screening and eligibility.
  • Release of WHO Refugee and Migrant Health Report and the engagement of RHeaNA with the proposed global action plan.
  • Some states are pursuing advocacy around access to IGRA screening for people from refugee backgrounds.

 

Tuesday 24 October 2017

  • Executive members provided updates on service delivery and key issues in each state and territory.  Themes included increased demand for services, increases in clients with complex health needs and issues related to access to latent tuberculosis (LTBI) screening.  Some states reported that access to LTBI screening is difficult. Medicare rebates for Quantiferon Gold do not currently extend to all humanitarian entrants. Some RHeaNA executive members reported state funded LTBI screening. Joint advocacy was discussed and key TB contacts for each state will be circulated to executive members.
  • The 2018 RHeaNA face to face meeting was discussed, however no date has yet been set.
  • Lindy Marlow completed her term as the Chair of the RHeaNA executive and was thanked for her contributions. Dr Christine Phillips from ACT will chair for the next two year term.

 

Wednesday 29 March 2017 – annual ‘face to face’ meeting, Sydney

  • Representatives from states and territories summarised service provision models and shared key imperatives and challenges. Members continue to report complex needs among people arriving from Syria and Iraq, including chronic disease, people arriving with disabilities and older people.
  • Concerns were raised about new arrivals’ ability to access disability services, particularly the NDIS. RHeaNA agreed to document case studies of barriers to accessing the NDIS for people from refugee backgrounds living with a disability to inform advice to the Commonwealth.
  • Concerns were also raised about meeting the needs of the growing cohort of people seeking asylum who are becoming Medicare ineligible after a negative decision on their asylum claim.
  • Members discussed setting an agenda for RHeaNA into the future, including opportunities for collaborative communication, joint advocacy work and engagement with other local and national networks.
  • The need to attract funding for a RHeaNA secretariat was raised.
Building capacity and partnerships to improve health and wellbeing