Cultural safety and the Capabilities for osteopathic practice

17 Sep 2020

The Capabilities for osteopathic practice (2019) have received an important update in the inclusion of the cultural safety definition.

In February this year an ambitious strategy from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health experts, regulators and health organisations was launched. The strategy, which was signed by 42 organisations, academics and individuals, is a commitment to embedding cultural safety into Australia’s health system.

All health practitioners in Australia, including osteopaths, need a working knowledge of factors that contribute to and influence the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. These factors include history, spirituality and relationship to land and other determinants of health in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Board Chair, Nikole Grbin said that updating the Capabilities for osteopathic practice (2019) was an important step in embedding cultural safety in osteopathic work.

‘Cultural safety in healthcare needs to become the norm and the cultural safety strategy gives us a clear way forward to achieve this. When we give care to our patients it’s important to understand that for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples that this is inseparably linked with cultural safety.

‘The Capabilities for osteopathic practice set out the attributes, knowledge and skills needed for osteopathic practice in Australia which is why it is so important that the cultural safety definition is included.

‘I encourage all osteopaths to familiarise themselves with the definition and consider it in your work’ she said.

To access the updated Capabilities for osteopathic practice (2019) please see the Capabilities for osteopathic practice page.

The development of the strategy was led by the National Scheme’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Strategy Group (the health strategy group), which includes all 15 of the national health practitioner boards. The group published a Statement of intent in July 2018 highlighting the health strategy group’s intent to achieve equity in health outcomes between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and other Australians to close the gap by 2031. Its vision is that patient safety for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples is the norm.

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Page reviewed 17/09/2020