Delivering a Healthy WA
WA Health Conference and Awards

What is culturally secure care and why does it matter? The Moort Boodjari Mia program delivers high quality maternal and neonatal care in Perth

Day two – Wednesday 20 November 2013
11.00am – 12.00pm Concurrent session 4

Moort Boodjari Mia (MBM) is a national award winning program which is achieving exceptional maternal and neonatal outcomes, providing high quality health care to pregnant Aboriginal women living in Perth. The program attracts what is considered a 'hard to reach' target group with 88% of clients considered complex cases due to medical and /or social issues. Despite the challenges faced, 90.5% of clients deliver babies at a healthy birth weight (>2.5 kgs) and half of clients report a reduction in smoking when comparing first and third trimesters.

The major strength of the program is that Aboriginal staff lead the program and receive ongoing feedback from the Aboriginal community through community consultations. Program development, delivery of care and evaluation not only involves Aboriginal staff but is driven by them. MBM staff strongly believe Aboriginal people are best placed to identify needs, develop strategies and gain trust and involvement from the community. It is because of this belief, all Aboriginal staff in the program hold leadership positions in the team.

Understanding health from an Aboriginal perspective is imperative. The staff on the program have an intimate understanding of Aboriginal culture, history, relationships in the community and the challenges experienced in all areas of life. This results in MBM clients feeling culturally safe, more comfortable and able to discuss issues they are facing, and more willing to engage in health care. But how does this look in practice?

Staff share personal perspectives on why culturally secure care and Aboriginal programs are incredibly important and what this means in practice at MBM. The program coordinator and Aboriginal Liaison Grandmother will discuss what makes MBM such a successful service and share personal perspectives on why we think services such as this one are essential and effective in closing the gap.

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