The Refugee Clinic was established at University Health in 2008. It is the only Refugee Medical Screening clinic in Texas not run through a local health department.
The Refugee Medical Screening (RMS) Program is funded through the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). This program helps refugees maximize their potential in the United States by linking them to critical resources that help them adjust to their new lives in America.
In the summer of 2021, the U.S. government initiated Operation Allies Refuge to quickly admit tens of thousands of Afghan evacuees and resettle them into different states. San Antonio was the 4th largest destination for Afghan evacuees. The federal government tasked the Refugee Clinic at University Health to provide labs, medical screening and immunizations for all refugees resettled in the San Antonio area.
How can refugee patients be referred to the University Health Refugee Clinic?
The Refugee Clinic schedules patients who are currently enrolled in programs managed by local resettlement agencies such as Catholic Charities, RAICES and the Resettlement Services of Texas (RST).
Who can access services in the University Health Refugee Clinic?
In order to access the University Health Refugee Clinic, refugees and immigrants must provide legal documentation that an individual is eligible as one of the following:
What services are provided in the University Health Refugee Clinic?
The Refugee Clinic offers specific medical services determined by the Office of Refugee Resettlement in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. General primary care is not provided.
Refugee Clinic Services:
What is an I-693 form and how can patients get it completed?
The I-693 is the Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record form. It establishes that an individual is not inadmissible to the U.S. on public health grounds. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services requires this form in order to apply for permanent residence in the U.S. The I-693 form must be completed by a civil surgeon after a medical screening. The Refugee Clinic completes the I-693 form for refugees who are resettled in Bexar County and the surrounding area.
Do Refugees have medical coverage?
Any individual that falls into the legal categories listed above qualifies for eight months of health insurance beginning on the date of their arrival to the U.S. If they are eligible for Medicaid in the state where they are resettled, then they receive Medicaid or one of the Managed Medicaid plans in that state. Otherwise, they qualify for eight months of Refugee Medical Assistance (RMA) which is managed by Point Comfort Underwriters. RMA covers the same services that Medicaid covers with some exceptions for services that would qualify the patient for Medicaid (e.g. pregnancy-related care).
What should refugee patients bring with them to their Refugee Clinic visit?
Refugee Clinic patients should bring legal identification documents, all available medical records (particularly vaccine records), their International Organization for Migration (IOM) bag if they have one and their I-693 form if applicable.
What if refugees need other services such as primary care, urgent care, women’s health or pediatrics?
Primary and specialty care for refugees is coordinated by their local resettlement agency with physicians in their community. The Refugee Clinic provides recommendations for additional care to the patient and their resettlement agency but does not provide this service or make referrals.