The Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives (CATSINaM) has been handed $350,000 in federal government funding to develop Australia’s first online cultural safety course for nurses and midwives delivering frontline care to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Indigenous Health Minister Ken Wyatt made the announcement on Wednesday in Sydney at a national roundtable exploring how to develop and rapidly expand the country’s Aboriginal health workforce.
CATSINaM will design the online cultural safety training course this year, with the program to be adapted for Australia from a successful model created by Indigenous leaders from Canada.
Outgoing CATSINaM CEO Janine Mohamed said the funding enabled the development of a project that the peak body representing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nurses and midwives had been working towards with the government and other key stakeholders over the past five years.
Significantly, the inclusion of cultural safety in the NMBA’s Code of conduct for nurses and midwives in March 2018 has driven an increased demand for cultural safety training.
“This training will not only support all nurses and midwives to meet the standards of their Codes of Practice, it will also embed cultural safety in the health system, improving healthcare and helping Close the Gap in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health outcomes,” Ms Mohamed said.
Minister Wyatt said the online cultural safety training was critical to Closing the Gap in health equality.
“Everyone using health services in Australia should feel valued and respected throughout their consultation and aftercare,” he said.
“The innovative use of established web technology will enable all nurses and midwives to learn about culturally safe care where they live and work, and at a time which suits them.”