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Community and primary care nursing
Australian study reveals challenges faced by maternal and child health nurses in caring for refugee families
  1. Pip McKnight
  1. Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust, Birmingham
  1. Correspondence to Ms Pip McKnight, Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust Birmingham; pip.mcknight{at}

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Commentary on: Willey SM, Cant RP, Williams, et al. Maternal and child health nurses work with refugee families: perspectives from regional Victoria, Australia. J Clin Nurs 2018;27:3387–96.

Implications for practice and research

  • Families from a refugee background face significant barriers to accessing healthcare, including communication, underlying health needs and cultural differences.

  • Further professional development is needed to ensure nurses and midwives have the required skills to provide care for refugee and asylum-seeking families.

  • Future research should take account of the legal frameworks governing asylum seekers’ entitlement to health.


As a signatory to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees Convention1, Australia has a long history of resettling asylum-seeking families and refugees. Access to universal healthcare is available to all refugees with a permanent …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.