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$17.2m to support Syrian refugees

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 7/08/2016

© AP Photo/Bilal Hussein The government will spend $17.2 million over the next four years to help Syrian refugees with their health needs.

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says many of the 500 refugees who will be arriving in New Zealand from Syria over the next two years will have suffered a great deal of trauma and will require ongoing specialised support.

"While many of the refugees will need counselling and support services, others will need help to manage a range of disabilities and chronic health conditions," he said.

Dr Coleman said the funding will go towards health costs associated with the refugees' first six weeks at the Mangere Refugee Resettlement Centre.

This includes an initial GP assessment and immunisation, as well as access to mental health and disability services.

The funding will also go towards ongoing health costs - from primary care in the community to hospital-level care.

The majority of Syrian refugees will be resettled in Wellington and Dunedin.

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