Aust Fam Physician 2013 Jun;42(6):405-8
School of Medicine, Sydney - Rural Clinical School Wagga Wagga Sub-school, the University of Notre Dame Australia, New South Wales.
Background: General practitioners play a crucial role in understanding the specific health and social issues of refugees, as they are often the first contact that refugees have with the healthcare system. Providing equitable access to healthcare services presents considerable challenges, particularly in regional areas.
Methods: A purposive sample of GP supervisors and general practice registrars was selected from a regional area of southern New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory. General practitioners were surveyed to assess their needs and attitudes in treating refugees, and the perceived impact of refugees in practice.
Results: There were significant differences between GP groups, between domestic and internationally trained medical graduates, and between genders in their needs and attitudes relating to refugee health.
Discussion: There is a strong sense that there are benefits in dealing with refugee health. More research is needed to identify the supports and education required to be able to effectively help refugees.
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