A Comprehensive Guide to Navigating Health Assessments for Refugees in New Zealand

Explore the INZ1260 form, a crucial part of New Zealand's refugee resettlement process, focusing on health assessments and services.

New Zealand, known for its humanitarian efforts, has a robust system in place for the resettlement of refugees. A crucial part of this process is the health assessment, designed to ensure that refugees are provided with the necessary health services to support their settlement journey.

This guide will walk you through the INZ1260 form, a settlement health assessment form for refugees mandated by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) who have been approved under New Zealand's Refugee Quota Programme or Refugee Quota Family Reunification Category.

Understanding the INZ1260 Form

The INZ1260 form is a comprehensive document that covers various aspects of a refugee's health. It is designed to ensure that refugees are provided with the necessary health services to support their settlement in New Zealand. The form includes sections on medical history, physical examination, and a declaration of identity.

Consent and Declaration

The form begins with a consent section where the client acknowledges that they understand the purpose of the health assessment and agree to undergo any further tests that may result from this assessment. This section is crucial as it ensures that the client is fully aware of the process they are about to undergo and that they consent to it. It is a testament to New Zealand's commitment to ensuring that refugees are treated with dignity and respect.

The consent section also includes a declaration by an interpreter (if applicable) and the examining physician. The interpreter's declaration is particularly important as it ensures that the client fully understands the contents of the form, regardless of their proficiency in English. The examining physician's declaration, on the other hand, attests to the accuracy of the information provided in the form.

Medical History

The medical history section is comprehensive and covers a range of health conditions. The examining physician, with the assistance of a parent or guardian for children under 18, must answer all questions. This section includes questions about prolonged medical treatment, heart conditions, respiratory conditions, physical or intellectual disabilities, birth or developmental issues, HIV and Hepatitis B or C tests, cancer, diabetes, addiction to drugs or alcohol, smoking history, and significant family health history.

Each question is designed to thoroughly understand the client's health status. For instance, questions about prolonged medical treatment or repeated hospital admissions can reveal chronic health conditions that may require ongoing care. Similarly, questions about heart conditions, respiratory conditions, and diseases like diabetes can help identify potential health risks that may need to be managed as part of the client's resettlement process.

Physical Examination

The physical examination section must also be completed by the examining physician. It includes details about the client's height, weight, body mass index, blood pressure, vital signs, and urinalysis. For children under 2 years, head circumference is also measured.

This section provides a snapshot of the client's current physical health. Measurements such as height, weight, and body mass index can provide insights into the client's nutritional status. Blood pressure readings can indicate potential cardiovascular issues. Vital signs like temperature, respiratory rate, and heart rate can reveal potential health concerns that may require further investigation. Urinalysis can help detect conditions such as urinary tract infections, kidney disease, and diabetes.

Confirmation of Identity and Declaration

The final section of the form is a confirmation of identity and declaration. The client must present valid photographic identification, and the person taking blood must certify the client's identity. The client's details, including the type of identity document, issuing country, date of issue, date of expiry, name, title, gender, date of birth, and country of birth, are recorded in this section.

This section is crucial as it ensures that the health assessment is conducted for the correct individual. It also provides a record of the client's personal details, which can be useful for future reference.

The Importance of the Health Assessment

The health assessment is not just a formality. It plays a crucial role in ensuring that refugees are healthy and receive the care they need as they start their new lives in New Zealand. The information gathered during the assessment can help healthcare providers identify any health issues that may need to be addressed, ensuring that refugees can access the appropriate health services as soon as possible.

Moreover, the health assessment can also provide valuable insights into the overall health status of the refugee population. This can help inform public health strategies and ensure that health services are adequately equipped to meet the needs of this unique population.

Preparing for the Health Assessment

Given the importance of the health assessment, it's crucial that refugees are adequately prepared for it. This includes understanding the purpose of the assessment, what it involves, and what they need to bring with them.

Refugees are required to bring any relevant medical documents to the assessment. These documents can provide valuable information about the individual's health history and any pre-existing conditions. Additionally, refugees are allowed to bring a support person to the assessment. This can be particularly helpful for those who may find the process overwhelming or confusing.


The INZ1260 form is a comprehensive document designed to ensure that refugees settling in New Zealand have access to the necessary health services. It is a crucial part of the resettlement process and is designed to support, not hinder, refugees as they begin their new lives in New Zealand. Understanding the form and the information it requires can help refugees better navigate the health assessment process and ensure they receive the care they need.

The resettlement journey can be challenging, but it is also a journey of hope and new beginnings. With the proper support and resources, refugees can thrive in their new homes. The health assessment is a key part of this support system, ensuring that refugees are healthy and well-equipped to start their new lives in New Zealand.

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