Indigenous Health and Engagement

Purpose

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists (RANZCR) is committed to supporting the professions of clinical radiology and radiation oncology to contribute to equitable health outcomes for Māori, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. This work is central to the strategic objectives of the College and is reflected in the College’s Strategic Plan.

MATEC

To support the College's work in achieving its commitment, the Board has established the Māori, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Executive Committee (MATEC) as a bi-national peak committee to provide authoritative advice to the Board, the Faculty of Radiation Oncology, the Faculty of Clinical Radiology, and other key committees, on how to significantly reduce disparities in health outcomes for Māori, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

Vision

Our vision is equitable health and workforce outcomes for Māori, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

RANZCR Statement of Intent for Māori, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health

Read RANZCR’s Statement of Intent for Māori, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health which outlines our objectives and values in relation to this work:

 

Statement of Intent for Māori, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health

RANZCR Action Plan for Māori, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health

In 2021, MATEC developed the Action Plan for Māori, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health (the ‘Action Plan’). The Action Plan consists of a series of considered and targeted activities which will be rolled out across the College over the next few years. The Action Plan  is divided into ‘foundational actions’ that are aimed at creating an enabling environment for the College to begin the change process. Then, a series of actions for the medium to longer term aimed at creating a stronger and sustainable setting that empowers the College to build on those foundations to implement the key objectives outlined across the four pillars in the Plan.

To ensure its continued prioritisation, the Board has embedded the Action Plan in the College’s new Strategy. Both are to be implemented over the next three years (2022–24).

The Action Plan has the potential to realise real and meaningful change for the professions, Indigenous clinical radiology and radiation oncology workforces and Indigenous communities.  Working towards more equitable health outcomes for Māori, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples will take a whole-of-College response and is a shared responsibility of the Board, our governance, all members, trainees and staff.

 

Read the Action Plan here

We will honour our commitment to Indigenous health by:

  • increasing the number of Maori, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in the clinical radiology and radiation oncology workforce;
  • ensuring cultural safety is an essential component of clinical safety, and aligns with best practice and the accreditation standards of the Australian Medical Council (AMC) and Medical Council of New Zealand (MCNZ);
  • building and maintaining sustainable relationships with the Indigenous health sector;
  • ensuring College governance and strategic plans address Maori, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples' health

Cultural Safety

'Cultural safety is determined by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals, families and communities. Culturally safe practice is the ongoing critical reflection of health practitioner knowledge, skills, attitudes, practicing behaviours and power differentials in delivering safe, accessible and responsive healthcare free of racism.'

'Patient safety for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples is the norm. We recognise that patient safety includes the inextricably linked elements of clinical and cultural safety, and that this link must be defined by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.' (Ahpra, 2020) 

Cultural safety is defined in the Aotearoa New Zealand context as:

'The need for doctors to examine themselves and the potential impact of their own culture on clinical interactions and healthcare service delivery.

The commitment by individual doctors to acknowledge and address any of their own biases, attitudes, assumptions, stereotypes, prejudices, structures and characteristics that may affect the quality of care provided.

The awareness that cultural safety encompasses a critical consciousness where healthcare professionals and healthcare organisations engage in ongoing self-reflection and self-awareness and hold themselves accountable for providing culturally safe care, as defined by the patient and their communities'. (MCNZ, 2019)

The Journey Before Us

RANZCR acknowledges the many years of tireless work and advocacy undertaken by Indigenous Elders, Ancestors and Indigenous leaders who precede us. This legacy has resulted in The Treaty of Waitangi (introduced into NZ Legislation) and the Uluru Statement from the Heart (endorsed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, but not the Australian government). The status of these historic documents reflects the differences between New Zealand and Australia on their paths to better relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. In addition, and relevant to the Statement from the Heart, RANZCR acknowledges the Australian government's Closing the Gap policy framework and associated targets to reduce life expectancy gaps within a generation, and New Zealand's equivalent Māori health strategies and frameworks.

While some progress has been made, many indicators show little or no change, or in some cases, worse outcomes than originally benchmarked. It is everyone's responsibility to address these failures at every level.

Contact

If you are Māori, Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander and are interested in learning more about what supports are in place at the College and/or if you would like to discuss any aspect of this work, please get in touch with Madeleine d’Avigdor, Senior Projects Officer at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

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