Griffith University has joined with thirty-six other health organisations to sign a National Registration and Accreditation Scheme Statement of Intent last week hosted by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). Professor Roianne West, Director First Peoples Health Unit, and Professor Nick Buys, Dean Learning and Teaching, were a part of the commitment to work together to ensure access to health services that are culturally safe and free from racism for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
The Statement of Intent is in response to a new push to embed cultural safety across health systems, due to a systemic lack of consistency in the quality and safety of health care provided to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Associate Professor Gregory Phillips, CEO, ABSTARR Consulting and co-chair of the National Scheme Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Strategy Group said, “The only way to achieve equity in health outcomes is to bring cultural safety to the centre of patient care. We know and understand the links between cultural and clinical safety for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ patient safety. These concepts are inextricably linked. Achieving equity in health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples is important for all Australians as it will address inequities that have led to a 10-year difference in life expectancy between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and other Australians.”
The Statement brought together six leading Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health organisations, AHPRA, all fifteen National Boards and all fourteen accreditation authorities to launch the National Scheme’s Statement on Intent, that aims to close the gap in health services by 2031. Professor Roianne West says of the Statement, “It was an honour to be a part of such a historic event especially given Griffith University is recognised as a national leader in ensuring this vision is a reality through the implementation of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Curriculum framework and our innovate First Peoples Health Learning and Teaching initiatives.”