NAIDOC Week and Health Equity

Metro North Health this week launched its Health Equity Strategy at a special event.

Metro North launches Health Equity Strategy in line with NAIDOC Week

Metro North Health has this week launched its health equity strategy to improve health outcomes and ensure life expectancy parity by 2031 for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Over the next nine years, the strategy will also focus on healthy birth weight of babies, reduced suicide with a focus on culturally safe mental health, zero long-waits for planned care, and increased pregnancy education and cervical screening rates.

An implementation plan detailing specific and measurable targets to achieve the 2031 goals will be released later this year, while the strategy itself has been formulated after 12 months of engagement and consultation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community groups.

Metro North Health Board Chair Jim McGowan AM said the plan provided a pathway for change including a commitment to eliminate institutional racism.

“A commitment to health equity requires reform, change and improvement across the entire health system,” Mr McGowan said.

“If we want to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to access the care they need, we need to provide care that actually meets their needs, care that is physically, culturally, and psychologically safe, that doesn’t come with assumptions and unconscious racism.

“This strategy has been informed and developed in consultation with many stakeholders to ensure that we are meeting the needs of these patients with our goals.”

Metro North Health Executive Director of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and proud Yidinji and Butchulla woman Sherry Holzapfel said the voices, lived experiences, and cultural authority of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were integral to the co-design, co-ownership, and co-implementation of the plan.

“I would like to acknowledge and thank the Traditional Owners, Elders, staff, leaders, partnership organisations and our community for developing this plan together,” Mrs Holzapfel said.

“I thank them for having a voice, speaking their truth, and ensuring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, spirit and holistic wellbeing is at the centre of everything we do.”

The Metro North Health Equity Strategy has been developed and will be delivered in partnership with the community and a number of stakeholders including Institute for Urban Indigenous Health and the Brisbane North Primary Health Network.

View the Metro North Health Equity strategy online.