A GUIDE to assessing and treating migrant patients has been launched online for GPs.
The Migrant Health Guide offers a "one-stop-shop" of information about caring for patients who have moved to the UK from abroad. It recognises the fact that migrants often have more complex health needs than UK-born patients.
The free guide – from the Health Protection Agency – covers various health issues including infectious diseases like TB and HIV which are more common in some other parts of the world. It offers help for both GPs and nurses in diagnosing and managing a range of conditions relevant to patients from other countries. It emphasises the importance of early diagnosis and prompt treatment.
HPA developed the guide in collaboration with a team of clinical and public health experts as well as primary care practitioners. The Royal College of General Practitioners and the Royal College of Nursing have both endorsed it.
Dr Jane Jones from the HPA said: "More people in the world are migrating today than at any other point in human history. One consequence of this change is that primary care practitioners in the UK may be caring for patients with health issues with which they are unfamiliar, and they need information and support to be able to do this with confidence.
"With the launch of the Migrant Health Guide, doctors and nurses will have at their fingertips a wealth of information and resources on the health issues that are associated with over 100 specific countries - and we have designed the content in such a way that it can be accessed within the confines of a ten minute consultation.
HPA chairman, Dr David Heymann, added: "Disease doesn't recognise geographical borders, so it's crucial that primary care practitioners expand their knowledge of the health issues associated with countries outside the UK if we are to tackle pressing global health issues such as TB, HIV and malaria, to name but a few."
Link to the Migrant Health Guide