Refugee Health

People of refugee background are affected by distinct health inequalities that arise from their experiences both prior to arrival in Australia and after arrival. These issues are often compounded by the effects of torture and trauma.


Prior to arrival, some refugee clients may have had:

  • Interrupted access to health care
  • Limited access to safe drinking water, inadequate/interrupted access to nutritious food
  • Limited access to preventative care, medical treatment or health education
  • Experiences of uncertainty, deprivation, loss of dignity, separation from loved ones and being forced to make impossible decisions.

Even after arrival in Australia, obstacles remain such as:

  • High barriers to service access
  • Being a minority in an unfamiliar culture
  • Having to negotiate new systems (often with low English proficiency)
  • Ongoing separation from loved ones
  • Stress related to receiving bad news from country of origin/refuge
  • Not having vocational skills recognised
Building capacity and partnerships to improve health and wellbeing