• Media releases
  • ASX releases
  • Gallery
  • Quick facts
  • Contact
  • About Medibank
  • Investor Centre
  • Features

    Taking strides towards greater cultural safety in health

    This week, Australia marked Close The Gap Day. This is a day to raise awareness of the importance of health equity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and a reminder that every individual, organisation and group in Australia can play a role in closing the life expectancy gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians.

    Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples still live, on average, 10-11 years less than non-Indigenous Australians. The Aboriginal-led health service sector is leading the way in changing this, but the broader health sector also has an important role to play.

    Culturally safe and responsive health services increase both the quality of care and health outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients, and through our 2022-2024 Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) Medibank has committed to increase the capabilities of our health professionals and health services to provide culturally safe care, ensuring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander customers and patients have a positive experience with us.

    Last week, some of our Amplar Health and Medibank healthcare teams piloted a full-day cultural safety training workshop delivered by our partners at the Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association (AIDA).

    Designed and delivered by Indigenous doctors to non-Indigenous health professionals, the program is clinically focused and designed to assist health practitioners integrate cultural safety into their practices to improve healthcare for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients.

    The workshop’s content is enhanced by the unique insights of AIDA doctor members and a range of clinical case studies that have been experienced first-hand by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander doctors. Through developing a greater understanding of Indigenous health perspectives, the program aims to inspire participants to change their own clinical practice and become an agent for change across our business.

    Amplar Health Chief Medical Officer, Dr Janett Randall said: “A huge thanks to AIDA for making this high-quality training available to us.

    “We had a diverse range of health professionals attend the training, and we all left with a renewed commitment to reflect on our own practice, and a better understanding of how to work with the sector to help us design, deliver and contract health services to ensure they are culturally safe and welcoming to First Nations peoples.

    “My key take out is that cultural safety is integrally linked with clinical safety. And that self-determination and a strengths-based approach are necessary elements to making the health system safer for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.”

    Increasing the cultural safety of broader health services across Australia is an important part of how we will address health equity. AIDA CEO, Donna Burns said: “The partnership between AIDA and Medibank embodies a proactive approach towards closing the health gap experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. By recognising and building upon the inherent strengths within Indigenous peoples, we can create a healthcare system that not only addresses disparities but also fosters resilience, empowerment, and self-determination. Thank you to Medibank for your commitment and willingness to listen to the voice of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander peoples.”

    Learn more about the great work of AIDA and Medibank’s commitment to addressing health equity and Reconciliation more broadly in our 2022-2024 Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).

    Keep reading