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QEII Hospital committed to improving health equity

20 March 2023

QEII Hospital has shared a milestone on their quest to improve health equity for First Nations Queenslanders with February data showing the hospital had zero Indigenous potentially preventable diabetes-related hospitalisations and zero discharges against medical advice.

This point of pride for the chronic disease team was shared on Close the Gap Day in March alongside cultural performances by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander dance troupes who were able to share their connection to country through dance.

Director of Allied Health, Leo Ross said National Close the Gap Day is a chance to show solidarity with First Nations Peoples and highlight how QEII and Metro South Health is investing in health solutions and engaging in meaningful partnerships with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander consumers to improve health, happiness, and engagement.

“QEII averages 100 discharges of First Nations people each month and benefits from the positive influence of consumer partnerships to increase understanding in how to partner in their own health, staff education to improve culturally appropriate connections, consumer driven initiatives, and increased partnerships with external service providers for improvements in the continuum of care,” he said.

“At QEII, we have a Cultural Capability Officer as well as an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Hospital Liaison Officer, Kam O’Regan who provides culturally appropriate support to inpatients and their families to help them better understand their health condition, treatment and options throughout their hospital journey.” 

The hospital is currently embracing the opportunity to redesign the health service in a way that sees more First Nations people employed across services, listens to First Nations voices in the system, and supports more integration and coordination of care to ensure our services are equitable for all people.

“There is still much to be done,” Leo said. “As an organisation, our goal is to truly listen and understand the problems within and across the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patient journey and address the barriers as well as encourage the enablers to accessing continuity of care.”

The Metro South Health First Nations Health Equity Strategy addresses the need to redesign our health service that sees more First Nations people employed across the system, listens to First Nations voices, and supports a better integrated and coordinated system for First Nations peoples. The aim is to ensure our services are equitable for all people.  

Through the implementation plan, MSH are actioning identified priority areas. These are;

  • To actively eliminate racial discrimination and institutional racism within the service
  • To increase access to healthcare services
  • To influence the social, cultural and economic determinants of health
  • To deliver sustainable, culturally safe and responsive healthcare services
  • To work with First Nations peoples, community, and organisations to design, deliver and review health services
  • And to strengthen our First Nations workforce  

Learn more about the MSH First Nations Health Equity Strategy here https://metrosouth.health.qld.gov.au/sites/default/files/first-nations-health-equity-strategy.pdf

Last updated 20 March 2023
Last reviewed 20 March 2023

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