Health equity means that everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible and on Close the Gap Day, 2023 the GCHHS Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Service was out and about collecting First Nations Health Equity pledges of support.
In response to the continued health and socio-economic disparities between Indigenous and non-indigenous Australians, the Queensland Parliament passed the Health Legislation Amendment Bill 2020 in August 2020 requiring each Hospital and Health Service to develop a local strategy to achieve health equity in partnership with First Nations peoples.
The GCHHS First Nations Health Equity Strategy 2022 was informed by the voices of almost 400 unique participants and conversations with more than 2400 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adult community members. Released on the 12 August 2022, the GCHHS First Nations Health Equity Strategy details our commitment to work with the Gold Coast First Nations Community, delivering real outcomes and lasting change through a genuine partnership approach of co-design, co-ownership and co-implementation.
The NSQHS Standard acknowledges that “the safety and quality of care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples can only be improved when everyone who works in the health service organisation recognises they are responsible for providing equitable care.” The GCHHS 2023 Pledge stated First Nations Health Equity is everyone’s business. Using their fingerprint and name, community and staff pledged to support the GCHHS First Nations Health Equity Strategy and identify what their workplace could do to contribute.
The Emergency Department TECS Team pledged their support and are keen to commence the Yarning Circle program which aims to provide a safe and meaningful environment for First Nations people in which cultural differences are acknowledged respected and supported throughout the healthcare journey.
Chair of the Gold Coast Hospital and Health Board, Ian Langdon said “The [GCHHS First Nations Health Equity] Strategy is the FIRST step, as we are committed to embedding the First Nations voice throughout the healthcare system, to create sustained change for better health outcomes.