In a first for the south, Flinders Medical Centre has welcomed Cardiac Aboriginal Health Practitioners to provide care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and support their cultural, emotional, and physical wellbeing.
Southern Adelaide Local Health Network (SALHN) Director of Cardiothoracic Surgical Unit, Associate Professor Jayme Bennetts, said two new practitioners will provide care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients before, during and after their hospital stay.
“We recognise that providing a culturally sensitive health service is important due to the often complex nature of issues affecting the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders,” A/Prof Bennetts said.
“The practitioners will assess patients’ physical, social and emotional wellbeing, as well as contribute to their care planning, education and recommendations in clinical intervention to better support the patients’ health outcomes.
“They will also assist in embedding a stronger and more sustainable approach to the provision of culturally safe care, treatment and support of Aboriginal patients in hospital, as well as offering advice and support regarding services closer to home.
“The practitioners received training in the Aboriginal Family Clinic over two years with the aim to identify and enhance areas of excellence in cardiac outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.”
SALHN Executive Director of Governance & Reform Julie Astley, said the Aboriginal Health Practitioners will provide a holistic approach to health care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients and their families.
“We are strongly committed to providing accessible, effective and meaningful services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders from metropolitan, rural and remote areas,” Ms Astley said.
“We are investing in our services to better support the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians in the south, across the state and in the Northern Territory.
“Having Aboriginal Health Practitioners in an acute setting contributes to Closing The Gap in health outcomes for Aboriginal people living in southern Adelaide.”
This initiative is one of a number of improvements as part of the Lighthouse Project run by the Cardiothoracic Surgery Unit at Flinders Medical Centre, in partnership with the National Health Foundation.