Patient safety the norm


Aboriginal flag painted on bricks

A new strategy for cultural safety in the health system has been launched

AHPRA has announced that the strategy, from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health experts, regulators and health organisations committed to embedding cultural safety into the health system, was launched on Thursday.

The Strategy is endorsed by 42 organisations, academics and individuals, including the entities who set the education standards for the 183,000 students who are studying to become registered health practitioners and the regulators of Australia’s 750,000 registered practitioners.

The Strategy focuses on achieving patient safety for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples as the norm and the inextricably linked elements of clinical and cultural safety.

A key feature is that the Strategy was led by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and individuals via the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Strategy Group that represents all signatories to the Strategy.

Inaugural Co-chair of the Strategy Group Prof Gregory Phillips said this work has been a long time in the making and marks an important milestone for addressing health equity.

“The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Strategy Group has already instigated and progressed significant reform to help achieve health equity and address racism in the health system,” he said.

“We are proud of our achievements to date and the launch of the Strategy.

“We have much work to do, but together we can have a broad-reaching effect that will help embed cultural safety into the health system across Australia.

“This is a significant step in the right direction to address Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People’s health, and the national priority of a health system free of racism,” said Prof Phillips.

The Strategy’s vision is that “Patient safety for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples is the norm. We recognise that patient safety includes the inextricably linked elements of clinical and cultural safety, and that this link must be defined by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples”.

Objectives include cultural safety, increased participation, greater access and influence.

Signatories to the Strategy include pharmacy stakeholders such as the Australian Pharmacy Council, and the Pharmacy Board of Australia.

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