Migrant and Refugee womens experiences of the shared care service at Ishar
This qualitative research project investigates migrant and refugee women’s experiences of the Shared Care Service (antenatal care)1 provided by Ishar Multicultural Women’s Health Centre in Mirrabooka, Perth, Western Australia, as part of a community-based Shared Care Service conducted in collaboration with Osborne Park Hospital.The Shared Care Service, funded for three years from 2012 by WA Department of Health, was developed in order to meet the Primary Health Care Strategy of Western Australia (Department of Health, WA, 2011) and the Maternal Policy Framework Department of Health, 2007), and was prepared in accordance with the Australian Antenatal Care Guidelines (AHMAC, 2012). The research found the migrant and refugee women who participated in the study welcomed the specialist, culturally sensitive and supportive antenatal care services provided by Ishar and felt their needs were recognised and met.
In addition to the comprehensive medical care provided, participants particularly valued:
- The woman-centred approach of the service
- The use of interpreters to ensure language and communication issues were attended to thoughtfully and appropriately
- The employment of one female doctor and one female midwife to run the service; The continuity of medical personnel
- The unhurried nature of the one hour-long appointments
- The accessible location of the service
- The welcoming environment of the health centre within which the antenatal program was delivered.
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