New refugee arrivals from Afghanistan are eligible for Medicare

Western Australia has received just under 100 new refugee arrivals from the recent repatriation out of Afghanistan who will now call Perth home. Unlike other refugees that arrive in Australia, not all of these new arrivals had predeparture screening due to the emergency evacuation. Instead, they all received an abbreviated health check in Dubai on their way to Australia.

The Humanitarian Entrant Health Service will provide screening appointments over the next few weeks, but some of this group may need to be seen in primary care for acute issues. The ASID Refugee Guidelines 2016 and the “Migrants and Refugees” suite of HealthPathways can be utilised by general practitioners to assist with screening, management and referral for people attending from a refugee-like background.

The majority of these new arrivals have been provided with a Humanitarian Stay (Temporary) visa (subclass 449), which provides access to Medicare from the date they arrived in Australia. Some of them have not been provided with a Medicare number, however they all have documentation that they are eligible for Medicare. Medicare submissions do not have to be submitted on the visit day, they can be held over for submission.

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