Why community clinics are so important for Australia’s pregnant migrant women

Excerpt from SBS News
Accessed on 12/02/2020
Article by Amelia Dunn

‘Language and cultural barriers

Language and cultural barriers, as well as a lack of accessibility, are some of the reasons migrant and refugee women are less likely to visit hospitals.

Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health CEO, Dr Adele Murdolo told SBS News it often means they miss out on receiving important check-ups at key stages of the pregnancy.

“The Australian guidelines say that you should go within your first 10 weeks, not everybody knows that and particularly migrant women may not have access to that kind of information, about why you would go, and where to go. So I think accessibility is a huge issue.”

Dr Murdolo said women from migrant and refugee backgrounds are also more likely to experience complications during pregnancy like gestational diabetes or pre-eclampsia.

Community clinics a ‘winning combination’

She believes having community clinics which can provide a ‘one-stop-shop’ will help improve these outcomes.

“People who speak the language of the women, and are able to go out to where women live or where they work, that’s a really winning combination.”

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