This month’s National Close the Gap Day advocates for health equity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. It helps to educate the community about the obstacles Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people face in accessing health care. Since 2007, National Close the Gap Day reminds us of the importance of creating more equitable conditions for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in order to Close the Gap.
At Country SA PHN our vision is for better health and well-being for all country South Australians. Our Mission is to bridge the gap of health inequity and access in rural South Australia by building a collaborative and responsive health care system.
We are specifically working to Close the Gap in health equity and health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people within our region. To do this we are working better together to continually improve our relationships with all our collaborators across the primary health care system.
As an organisation we enshrine this focus in all that we do. We have now completed the first phase of our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) with the finalisation of the Reflect RAP. Our RAP Working Group is now embarking on the next phase – Innovate. In this RAP our vision for reconciliation is: Working better together for Aboriginal Health equity.
Aboriginal health equity implies equal access to health services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as for all country South Australians. Through our collaborations with our stakeholders we are working to improve effective health service engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
The improvement comes through working in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Understanding needs and collaborating with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, ensuring the provision of culturally appropriate, respectful and welcoming health services. Services where, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander concepts of well-being are upheld in the health services that we commission.
Our Innovate RAP’s focus is to:
In May all staff in our organisation will undertake Cultural Awareness Training to refresh our awareness and make sure all that we do is underpinned by our understanding of cultural appropriateness.
I am proud of our contribution to Closing the Gap in health inequity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. There is still much work to do and at Country SA PHN we are committed to the RAP process and continuing to collaborate with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and organisations to provide equal access to all primary health services.