27 May 2020
The Occupational Therapy Board of Australia (The Board) is committed to creating a culturally safe health care system for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. National Reconciliation Week is an important reminder of the work that still needs to be done to achieve this.
This year’s theme ‘In This Together’ is particularly timely given the COVID-19 pandemic. Racism from registered healthcare professionals will not be tolerated by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Ahpra) and all National Boards.
The Board has been making progress in this space including embedding cultural safety in the Australian occupational therapy competency standards and building on its partnership with Indigenous Allied Health Australia (IAHA) to make improvements across the profession.
In February 2020, the National Scheme’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and Cultural Safety Strategy 2020-2025 (the Strategy) was released, demonstrating the commitment to achieving patient safety for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples as the norm and the inextricably linked elements of clinical and cultural safety.
Board Chair Julie Brayshaw is also the Co-Chair of the National Scheme’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Strategy Group. She is currently piloting the Moong-moong gak Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Safety Training alongside members of the Strategy Group, a commitment in the Strategy.
‘Discrimination in healthcare contributes to health inequity. Improving health outcomes and workforce participation by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples is a priority of the Board. We support this year’s theme for National Reconciliation Week, and also recognise the need to improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health outcomes every day,’ Ms Brayshaw said.
The Board welcomes feedback on activities that occupational therapists and the public would like to see the Board undertake in relation to promoting a culturally safe health care system for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have feedback.