Addressing cultural diversity in Australian health services
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Allotey, P., Reidpath, D. and Manderson, L. (2002) ‘Addressing cultural diversity in Australian health services’, Health Promotion Journal of Australia, 13(2), pp. 29–33. Available at: https://doi.org/10.3316/informit.456477197687538.
Issue addressed: Recent changes in the model of health service delivery in Australia have resulted in the attrition of ethnic specific health services and the expectation that patients from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds will present to mainstream health services for all health problems. Providers are often ill equipped to provide appropriate care and have expressed concerns with addressing the needs of people from increasingly diverse communities. Meanwhile, community groups and anthropologists have expressed their frustration with the stereotypic and essentialising tone of many of the guides and fact-files developed for use in clinical settings. Methods: Applied anthropological approaches were used to negotiate the style and content of a set of resource materials for health providers in community health and hospital settings. Results: Extensive consultation ensured that the resources met providers' needs and were acceptable to communities. Conclusion: The result provides a guide to best practice of clinical care, regardless of cultural or linguistic background. So what: Health services would be assisted by materials on ethnic cultural factors that avoided stereotyping and emphasised asking questions.