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ABSTRACT: Historically, the purpose of medical screening of new refugees has been to identify acute conditions such as infections that can be effectively addressed with short-term therapy. More recently, screening of refugees who are new to Minnesota has included identifying conditions that require ongoing care. But regular screening for chronic conditions only makes sense when follow-up care can be provided. To address this issue, the Minnesota Department of Health's Refugee Health Program, in conjunction with outside experts, reviewed its guidelines for medical screening of new refugees and revised its recommendations. In addition to recommending screening for infections and other acute conditions, the new guidelines call for screening for chronic conditions and repeat testing for diseases or conditions of long latency. The guidelines take into account the ability of the screening clinic to provide ongoing care or assure the patient's transition to primary care.
Minnesota medicine 04/2010; 93(4):45-8.