Immigration Detention Health Services
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All people in immigration detention are provided access to health care at a standard generally comparable to the health care available to the Australian community. Health care services are provided by qualified health professionals and take into account the diverse and potentially complex health care needs of people in immigration detention.
For people in community detention and immigration residential housing, health care services are provided exclusively by community-based health providers. For people in facility based detention (immigration detention centres and immigration transit accommodation) most primary health services are available onsite with referral to external health services providers in the community as clinically required.
A health induction assessment is offered to every person entering immigration detention to identify conditions that will require attention while the person is accommodated in detention. This assessment includes the collection of personal and medical history, a physical examination and formalised mental health screening and assessment.
Treatment management is coordinated through a general practitioner for all people who have a clinically identified need for ongoing medical treatment. As well as the health induction assessment there are mechanisms in place to identify health needs that may emerge during a person's time in detention, including formal monitoring processes such as regular mental health rescreening for people detained for longer periods.
A health discharge assessment is completed for each person being discharged from any immigration detention placement. This assessment includes the provision of a health discharge summary from the health services provider to the individual, which informs future health providers of relevant health history, treatment received during detention and any ongoing treatment regimes. Where appropriate, linkages are made with relevant community health providers to facilitate ongoing care beyond discharge.
Since 2005 additional resources have been dedicated to Detention Health to ensure that past criticisms of heath care for people in immigration detention are addressed. This includes the establishment of the Detention Health Advisory Group which comprises nominees from the relevant professional health organisations in Australia and provides the Department with advice regarding the design, implementation and monitoring of detention health policy and procedures.
See: Detention Health Advisory Group (DeHAG)
With assistance from DeHAG and other key stakeholders, DIAC has developed the Detention Health Framework to articulate the range, level and standard of health care to be provided to people in all detention situations.
See: Detention Health Framework
The framework is supported by the Standards for health services in Australian immigration detention centres, which were developed by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) and are commensurate with standards in the Australian community.
See: The RACGP Standards for health services in Australian immigration detention centres