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Since 2004, Hunter New England Health Service has been providing a voluntary, free and confidential health assessment for people who have recently arrived from overseas for humanitarian reasons.
The district has an established refugee settlement program in Newcastle and recently in Armidale. The newly arrived refugees are commonly from Iraq, Syria, Democratic Repulic of Congo, North and South Sudan, Tibet and Burma. They have a complex set of needs as they have commonly been exposed to trauma, war, violence, torture, civil instability and loss of family and friends.
The above visa subclasses provide permanent residency and allow the refugees to enrol in Medicare for health-related care and expenses.
Asylum seekers on the other hand are people whose request for sanctuary is yet to be processed and are waiting to be granted refugee status.
Challenges commonly experienced by refugees after settling in Australia include: