Report highlights what First Nations’ clients really want

A new report sheds light on what First Nations patients want from their health care. Care from First Nations health professionals top their needs.

The report on the Social and Emotional Wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patient care was recently released.

The Bureau of Health Information (BHI) and the Centre of Aboriginal Health worked together to conduct extensive surveys. Participants were from within New South Wales hospitals.

Best approach for First Nations

The research had been carried out since 2019. The aim was to understand the best approach for health care systems in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

The findings of the survey have reinforced the importance of listening to patients. This helps to identify their preferred method of care. This will create effective health systems and ensure better outcomes.

“Hearing from Aboriginal people about their experiences of care is fundamental to efforts to tailor care to their needs and help improve health outcomes” (p, 2).

Bridging the gap

The findings confirmed that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers and Practitioners provide invaluable support to a patient’s health journey. Health workers play an important role in bridging the gap between culture and mainstream. Health outcomes improve when there is a high level of overall patient satisfaction.

Key findings

  • Aboriginal people supported by an Aboriginal Health Worker during their admitted and maternity stays gave more positive ratings of care across a wide range of areas. This included overall ratings of care, communication and information provision, and feeling respected.
  • 70% of Aboriginal patients who had the support of an Aboriginal Health Worker rated their care as ‘very good’. This is significantly higher than those who were not supported by an Aboriginal Health Worker – 58% (p 13).
  • 79% of Aboriginal women who had the support of an Aboriginal Health Worker rated their overall care during labour and birth as ‘very good’. This is significantly higher than those who were not supported by an Aboriginal Health Worker – 58% (p 17).
  • 76% of Aboriginal patients who had the support of an Aboriginal Health Worker said hospital staff ‘completely’ took their family and home situation into account when discharge planning. This is significantly higher than those who were not supported by an Aboriginal Health Worker – 60% (p 21).
  • 89% of Aboriginal women who had the support of an Aboriginal Health Worker said they were ‘always’ treated with respect and dignity during labour and birth. This is significantly higher than those who were not supported by an Aboriginal Health Worker – 72% (p 25).

First Nations HPs improve health outcomes

There’s no doubt that Health Workers and Practitioners further enhance the experience of patient care and improve the health outcomes.

On behalf of Diabetes Queensland and the First Nations Health Unit, we would like to extend our utmost gratitude and appreciation for the hard, dedicated work that Health Workers and Practitioners provide to patients and the community. Thank you!

Press here to read the Bureau of Health Information report.

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