RACP launches Refugee and Asylum Seeker Health position statement

Date published:
01 Jul 2015

The College launched its Refugee and Asylum Seeker Health Position Statement in Cairns at the opening session of the 2015 RACP Congress. The Statement was produced by the College's Refugee and Asylum Seeker Health Working Party, and has already received significant support from across the medical community during a consultation period.

Fellows and trainees expressed their overwhelming support for the Statement at its launch at Congress. The media coverage of the Statement launch has also been significant, with feature pieces in the Guardian and ABC Online on Monday and an interview over the weekend on the highly rated ABC AM radio program.

Physicians and paediatricians understand that the health needs of refugees and asylum seekers are often complex - arising from their unique and damaging experiences. The harm caused by immigration detention over the last two decades is irrefutable. The College has been advocating for more humane policies for many years and with this Statement, kicks off a reinvigorated advocacy program to campaign for an end to these harms.

The Statement calls for an immediate end to this damaging policy, and the immediate cessation of ‘rapid health assessments'. It focuses on the needs of refugees and asylum seekers currently in the Australian community, calling for good access to health and medical services and for longer-term support measures to ensure they reach their full potential.

As physicians and paediatricians, Fellows and trainees, all members of the College can use their voices to advocate for change. The College encourages you to write to your local MPs and Senators to let them know your concerns about these polices.

The College will continue to speak publicly on these issues as well as directly to decision makers on our opposition to policies which deny appropriate care and cause harm to those who seek our protection.

Please take the time to read the Position Statement in the Advocacy section of the website, and to watch and share our launch video here. You can read more about the College's work on Refugee and Asylum Seeker Health on the College website.

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