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Refugees and asylum seekers must receive quality health care

Photo: Refugees and asylum seekers must receive quality health care
The Australian College of Nursing (ACN) has called on the Australian Government to ensure every person seeking asylum in this country has access to quality holistic health care.

“Nurses work tirelessly to care for those in our community and feel strongly that all people have a basic human right to quality health care,” Australian College of Nursing Acting CEO, Anne Samuelson said. “In 2015, ACN developed a position statement in consultation with its members that demands protection of the health, welfare and dignity of refugees and asylum seekers and their children.”

“Access to comprehensive health care should be available regardless of visa status and whether refugees and asylum seekers are living in on-shore or off-shore immigration detention centres or in the community.”

“Any reports that asylum seekers may not be receiving these protections are of great concern to the Australian College of Nursing.”
The Australian College of Nursing believes standards of health care services for refugees and asylum seekers should be highly transparent and subject to external scrutiny.

“I commend all the nurses and health care providers who work in often difficult circumstances to provide care to refugees and asylum seekers,” Ms Samuelson said. “Refugees and asylum seekers are vulnerable populations who have often experienced significant trauma and can experience complex health and social needs. We cannot turn our backs on them. As a nation we must do everything in our power to provide them with the care they need.”

A full copy of the Australian College of Nursing’s position statement Quality Health Care for all Refugees and Asylum Seekers is available at


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