Humanitarian Arrivals title with Melbourne in backgroundWhere are humanitarian arrivals and what are their health needs?

The Humanitarian Arrivals: A spatial Analysis of Population Distribution and Health Service Needs study was developed to map where humanitarian arrivals live in Melbourne, and the availability of health services that address their needs.

The study was developed in response to a lack of available evidence and demographic data on humanitarian entrants living in Victoria. This made it very difficult to map and prepare needs for rapidly changing population demographics.

The study found that migration based on humanitarian reasons formed 12% of arrivals in Victoria in 2011. Many humanitarian migrants lived in or around the areas of Dandenong, Hume, Casey, Brimbank and Wyndham.
The study found that language barriers are one of the biggest challenges to their access to health services.

The study recommends steps that should be taken in future policy and practice. These include:

  • greater support networks for humanitarian entrants living in the areas of Greater Dandenong, Hume, Casey and Wyndham
  • resources so people can find bilingual GPs
  • training for GPs for dealing with humanitarian arrivals and interpreters.

The report also calls for further research and funding to address issues within the healthcare and humanitarian settled community, as these communities are in need of more support.

The study was developed by Dr Melanie Davern, Dr Deborah Warr, Dr Karen Block, Dr Camille La Broody, Dr Elizabeth Taylor and Ashraf Hosseini.