3137. Hon Alison Xamon to the parliamentary secretary representing the Minister for Health:

I refer to recent coronial work in other jurisdictions, including in Victoria, regarding the death of Tanya Day, and I ask:

(a)  is the Department of Health undertaking any work to assess and address systemic racism in Western Australian health services;

(b)  if yes to (a), please advise what work is being done; and

(c)  if no to (a), why not?

Hon Alanna Clohesy replied: I am advised:

Given the preface of the question refers to the death of Tanya Day this question has been interpreted to mean work being done to assess and address racism experienced by Aboriginal people.

(a)–(b) WA Health recognises racism as a key social determinant of health for Aboriginal people and prioritises this through the WA Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing Framework 2015–2030 (the Framework). Strategic direction three of the Framework is a Culturally respectful and non-discriminatory health system.

The Department of Health is currently delivering a number of initiatives that aim to address strategic direction three, while building cultural competency across the system. Key initiatives include, growing the Aboriginal workforce and mandatory system-wide cultural learning. In addition, the Discharge Against Medical Advice was developed as a Key Performance Indicator and included within the Health Services Performance Report, as a measure of inequality / efficacy of models of care that are cognisant of Indigenous patients.

The WA Country Health Service has implemented, a pilot Aboriginal Interpreting program, in collaboration with Aboriginal Interpreting WA, which enables culturally appropriate onsite interpreting services in hospitals across the Kimberley region and assists clinicians to engage with the Aboriginal interpreters to create an environment where Aboriginal people feel heard and understood. The Aboriginal interpreters are on standby to support Aboriginal people in need of medical attention and their families.

(c) Not applicable.


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