Culturally respectful health care services

The cultural safety of Indigenous health care users cannot be improved in isolation from the provision of health care, and the extent to which health care systems and providers are aware of and responsive to Indigenous Australians’ cultural perspectives. The structures, policies and processes across the health system all play a role in delivering culturally respectful health care.

What data are available?

Reporting in this module is limited by a lack of national and state and territory level data. The main information source is the Online Services Report (OSR), a data collection from organisations funded by the Australian Government to deliver health services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. A high proportion of these organisations show a service level commitment to be culturally respectful and safe.

National data are also reported on Indigenous Australians enrolled in health related training courses and those employed across the health system, including GPs, nurses and some specialist doctors. The Indigenous workforce is integral to ensuring that the health system has the capacity to address the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Data gaps and limitations

Data on mainstream health services, such as public hospitals and general practitioners, are a key data gap. Data on these services are required to provide a more comprehensive picture of culturally respectful health care.