CALHN’s commitment to culturally-safe Aboriginal healthcare

The importance of listening, caring and healing is at the heart of Central Adelaide Local Health Network’s new Aboriginal Health Framework and Action Plan.

The new framework and action plan commits to supporting healing and acknowledges that healing is more than addressing the physical wellbeing of consumers.

The network is continually working to improve how it delivers care to Aboriginal patients, their families and communities.

The latest Central Adelaide population figures highlight that 1.1% of people in the Central Adelaide region identify as of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin, which represents almost 5000 people. In the period January to July 2021, over 10,000 or 4% of CALHN’s service population identified being of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin.

“Fundamental to the plan is the acknowledgement that we must work together, in genuine partnership, with patients, families, Aboriginal Communities and our partners to provide Aboriginal patients with access to high quality and culturally responsive clinical care,” said Trish Laccos, Director of Aboriginal Health and Research Translation.

In an average month there are approximately 653 patient separations and 477 Emergency Department presentations for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and Royal Adelaide Hospital sites.

“Our plan is a living document. It flows together like a river system, everything we do is interconnected. Our strategy is bonded together by CALHN’s systems and frameworks and the voices of Aboriginal patients and families, leadership and staff,” said Uncle Frank Wangutya Wanganeen, Kaurna Elder and Co-Chair of the CALHN Reconciliation Action Plan Committee.

“We know we have a long way to go on our journey but we look forward to arriving at our destination where our people are receiving culturally sensitive care and support, leading to a healthier quality of life and better health and wellbeing outcomes.”

The Listening, Caring, Healing, Aboriginal Health Framework and Action Plan follows key improvements to the network, such as the establishment of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and Wellbeing Hub, the CALHN Aboriginal Priority Care Committee in 2020 and the Aboriginal Consumer Reference Group in 2021. These improvements have been the foundation and mechanisms to develop of CALHN’s first Aboriginal Health Framework and Action Plan.

Read the framework here.