Delivering a Healthy WA
Multicultural Health

Cultural competency

A health system that is culturally competent:

  • acknowledges the benefits that diversity brings to Australian society
  • helps health providers and consumers to achieve the best, most appropriate care and services
  • enables self-determination and ensures a commitment to reciprocity for culturally and linguistically diverse consumers and their communities
  • holds governments, health organisations and managers accountable for meeting the needs of all members of the communities they serve.

The National Health and Medical Research Council have produced Cultural Competency in Health: A guide for policy, partnerships and participation (external link) to help policy makers and managers implement culturally competent policy and planning at all levels of the health system.

Multicultural health diversity café

The Multicultural Health Diversity Café – held twice each year – brings together service providers who work with people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CaLD) backgrounds.

The inaugural café event allowed service providers to share and discuss how they work with consumers and carers from CaLD backgrounds and how these working practices can be improved.

The second Diversity Café provided attendees with an understanding of effective ways to promote health and wellbeing to CaLD populations, including newly arrived migrants and humanitarian entrants.

The third Diversity Café provided attendees with an understanding of the strengths and opportunities offered by different approaches used when speaking with CaLD groups about sensitive issues.

WA Health cultural competency training

The Department of Health, through the Cultural Diversity Unit, now offers cultural competency training for working with people from CaLD backgrounds.

This training seeks to equip the WA Health workforce (including mental health staff) with the knowledge, skills and tools to manage cross-cultural health encounters and deliver inclusive, timely, safe and effective health care.

For more information email the Cultural Diversity Unit.

Language services e-learning package

Royal Perth Hospital has developed an e-learning package for health care professionals who work with non-English speaking, deaf and hard of hearing clients.

The program was developed for South Metropolitan Health Service (SMHS) employees by the Medical Illustrations Department at Royal Perth Hospital Staff from other areas can also use the program by following these instructions:

  • Access the Language Services e-Learning package (external site) online.
  • Skip step 1. You do not need to enter the first letter of your surname.
  • Make a selection from the 'Type of Staff' drop down list.
  • Select 'Other' from the 'Campus' drop down list
  • Make a selection from the 'Department' drop down list.

Managing cultural competency in mental health

South Metropolitan Health Service

The SMHS Mental Health Strategy and Leadership Unit Multicultural Services provide workshops for all WA Health staff on how to manage cultural diversity in mental health.

For information contact

Transcultural Mental Health Service

The Transcultural Mental Health Service, within the Department of Psychiatry at Royal Perth Hospital, is staffed by experienced clinicians with expertise in working with patients from a CALD background.

These clinicians develop and deliver training programs for WA Health and non-government organisations.

For further information send an email or call 92241760.

Women’s Health Policy and Projects Unit: Training Calendar 2014

Training on FGM, honour killings, FDV (PDF) (intranet access required)

Multicultural health initiatives

The Multicultural Health Inventory identifies what the Public Health and Clinical Services Division, WA Health, offers and funds other agencies to offer, that either directly or indirectly address the health needs of consumers and communities from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

Multicultural Health Initiatives Inventory 2014 (PDF) | (Word)

WA cultural competency resources

Diverse WA Cultural Competency Training logo

Diverse WA: Cultural Competency training

Diverse WA Cultural Competency Training (external site) provides online training opportunities for public sector employees who work with people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds.

National cultural competency resources

Centre for Culture, Ethnicity and Health

The Centre for Culture, Ethnicity and Health (CEH) provides health care providers with specialist information on how to improve health outcomes for people from CALD backgrounds.

The Centre has developed a series of tip sheets (external site) to help healthcare providers assess and improve cultural competence at an organisational level.

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