Publications & Reports

Health issues of refugees attending an infectious disease refugee health clinic in a regional Australian hospital

Masters PJ, Lanfranco PJ, Sneath E, Wade AJ, Huffam S, Pollard J, Standish J, McCloskey K, Athan E, O'Brien DP, Friedman ND
BMBS, Senior House Officer, Department of General Medicine, Isle of Wight Hospital, NHS Trust, UK; Barwon Health, Geelong, Vic. peta.j.masters@gmail.com.

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Refugees in Australia present with conditions different to those of the general population. The aim of this study was to review the reasons for referral, prevalence of conditions and treatment outcomes for refugee patients attending a specialist referral clinic in regional Victoria. METHOD: A retrospective review was undertaken of patients attending the refugee health clinic at University Hospital Geelong from January 2007 to December 2012. RESULTS: Two hundred and ninety-one refugee patients attended the clinic over the six-year period. Latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) (54.6%), vitamin deficiencies (15.8%), hepatitis B (11%) and schistosomiasis (11%) were the most common diagnoses. Less than two-thirds of the patients completed LTBI treatment; 35.4% of patients attended all scheduled clinic appointments. DISCUSSION: LTBI, vitamin deficiencies, parasitic infections and hepatitis B were the most common diagnoses among refugees referred to the University Hospital Geelong (UHG) Refugee Health Clinic from January 2007 to December 2012. General practitioners play an important role in the care of refugees, guiding referral to specialist services when necessary and recognising the potential implications of suboptimal clinic attendance and treatment completion.

Publication

  • Journal: Australian Journal of General Practice
  • Published: 01/05/2018
  • Volume: 47
  • Issue: 5
  • Pagination: 305-310

Author