The assignment is a policy analysis of the diversity in health policy document which can be found in the web site This health policy document is chosen because it is the most recent health policy document in the country.

It helps addresses the mental health needs of people from the asylum seekers at the onset of settlement and over other longer term perspective. In this regard, the document is appropriate for this this assignment because it related to people from a culturally and linguistic diverse background. As a result the this assignment aims to provide a detailed critique of the policy programs in regard to the refugee health nurse program aspect of this strategy as outline in the health policy document.

The Refugee Health Nurse Program as outlined in the policy document diversity in health

According to the diversity in health policy document, the key policy point in regard to refuges and asylum seeker health and wel being needs to be planned around several key pillars. First, the country has of late been experiencing close to 4,000 refugees each year through different international and other national humanitarian programs. In addition to this, (VFST, 2010) estimates that, there is still another 10,000 people have arrived in to the Victorian community. The majorities of them arrive as asylum seekers with valid visas but are still waiting for the determination of their refugee status. As a result, victoria is increasingly becoming a great or large refuge host with the highest number of refugees in the entire Australia.

From this perspective, victoria is faced with the challenge of new arrivals with a complex but chronic physical and mental health conditions. All these must be addressed and hence the department of health and human services Have begun to work closely with the Victorian refugee health network in. the cooperation seeks to help Victorian health and human services department or sector in supporting the improvement of the health and the wellbeing of the people in this status as either refugees or asylum seekers. In this perspective, this assignment take a critical look at the refugee nurse program as outlined in the diversity in health policy document.

Mental Health Brain Image

In the report by (NSW, 2011), the refugee health program was previously refred to as the refugee health nurse program. None the less, it operates in those areas identified to have a higher number of newly arrived refugees as well as asylum seekers or both. Under the programs different health programs are provided by different nurses. Superficially, the refugees assigned health nurses undertake the initial health screening for the newly arrived refugees and asylum seekers. This helps to facilitate the proper access to genral practice and any other relevant specialist health care. This also helps them to identify and provide the relevant case management, education and any other necessary nursing care.

For example according to (WHO, 2010), they may refer clients to other support services such as housing as well as employment services as deemed necessary. However, despite the concerted efforts by the Australia health authorities to provide the necessary health care services, both the refugees and other asylum seekers arriving in the country have different health challenges. Some of these are not envisioned through the health policy document diversity in health. Due to this, the entire health care systems in the country may appear to fail to take in to consideration the basic health needs and circumstances of the different refugee camps. This too affect other marginalization to which refugees are exposed to owing to urban setting under which even the most basic health resources and series are scarce.

Typically, all the refugee and asylum settlements or holding settlements in the country do not have adequate access to safe drinking water, shelter, safety, adequate food, education or the basic health care services. As a result of these many of the easily preventable and controllable diseases such as malaria are very common. Additionally, the healthy policy document, diversity in health does not specifically address the issues of the poorly developed and disrupted health care facilities within the refugee’s settlement. However, this cannot be provided adequately.  This has exposed many of the refuges to traumatic events such as prolonged periods of deprivation, human rights abuses, loss of family memebrs as well as loss of both their identity and culture. As a result, the majority of the refugees are exposed to many negative experiences leading to multiple and complex health problems which may culminate in the developed of serious mental issues. For example the majority of refugees and asylum seekers arriving in Australia are exposed to severe mental health issues due to physical and psychological trauma, deprivation, prolonged poverty and poor access to health care. In any case given the reality that by their status, they are less likely to access both family and community support for different aspects of their lives up on their arrival in the country. In the face of these challenges, this health policy document diversity in health fails in its mission; to address or provide the means or systems of addressing these challenges as a means of ensuring a successful resettlement in Australia for such refigures over time.

The health policy document diversity in health can be improved to address the specific health needs of the refugees through health care as well as support during their early periods of their arrival and settlement in Australia. For starts, through the refugee health nurse program, the health policy document diversity in health should seek to provide a more coordinated health services support. This can be done through recruitment of more trained community nurses with the relevant experimented, expertise and competencies for working in culturally and linguistically diverse as well as marginalized new community in the country. according to the (VH, 2015)  Report, through such an approach, the health policy document diversity in health will then be able to improve the healthcare of the refugees community in the country through provision of health care by community based nurses. This will help to optimize the long term health of the refugee communities through promotion of accessible as well as culturally appropriate health care services. Moreover, it will help to promote the health care of the refugee community through changing their refugee’s settlement patterns.

With these many and major challenges experienced world over such as wars, conflict and other damages to lifestyle infrastructure in many countries, many people have fled their home coutnries for lack of access to basic health services. In this regard, the country has under the policy document refred to diversity in health sought to provide the necessary health care for different refugees and asylum seekers. This applied both during their journey through or during their stay in austral as the country of their first asylum search. In addition these people are also provided with safe drinking water as well as nutritious food.

However, this endeavor has faced several challenges at the policy level. First, the majority of these refugee and asylum seekers, their children and families have had a limited medical attention prior to their arrival in Australia. As a result they are unaware of the kind of either primary of preventive health care programs that they can access while in the country. In this perspective, the policy document diversity in health has sought to bring close to them different but the relevant and necessary health services such as

  • Mental health
  • Immunizations
  • Physical health
  • Maternal health
  • Oral health as well as
  • Good nutrition and other forms of healthy lifestyle.

According to a detail analysis of this health policy document, many challenges and problems have been experienced in by these people in the process of accessing health services in Australia. This was mainly due to language as well as due to other cultural barriers. For example these challenges have the potential to keep these people from knowing the kind of health care they may access. on the other hand, the entire health care systems has not always understood that due to many other problems in their lives, the majority of the refugees and other asylum seekers do not priorities their health problems and needs.


The social disconnect to which many refugees and other asylum seekers are exposed to upon their arrival in victoria leaves them to struggling with poor health. This is particularly significant in relation to their mental helth. It is further aggravated due to grief and anxiety related to separation from their loved ones. As a result the majority of them suffer from mental trauma either due to torture or resulting from conflict, guilty of having left their friends and families behind in conflict zones among other stresses. Additionally, the act of settling in a new country calls for a great deal to readjustment especially in cases where the relocation was unplanned as it happens with the majority of the refugees and other asylum seekers.

In this perspective, good health is a critical part of their successful resettlement and hence the health policy document, diversity in health seeks to remedy this. It is mainly aimed at streamlining the coordination of the necessary efforts amongst the refugees and other refugees support services providers in order to ensure that the refugee and asylum seekers health is treated as a priority and provided to them as soon as they arrive in Australia. However there have been several challenges which the practitioners have identified and sought to address in this health policy document among them; The cultural sensitivity in the entire health services, the screening of refugee families as well as early immunization, the need for the provision of interpreting services and the need for better coordination between as well as among different government providers and other health care professionals.



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