The Pacific Cultural Resource Unit exists to provide:
- Cultural support to high need Pacific patients and their families who may be admitted to Middlemore Hospital inpatient services
- Support outreach follow-up for high need Pacific patients who are not able to attend outpatient clinics
- Cultural advice and support to staff and services working with Pacific populations
View the Pacific Cultural Resource Unit Pamphlet for more information (in English, Tongan, Niuean, Samoan & Cook Island languages).
Why is Cultural Support important?
Cultural support can have a real impact on clinical outcomes. Ignoring culture can lead to negative health consequences in many ways:
- Patients may choose not to access needed services for fear of being misunderstood or disrespected
- Clinicians may miss opportunities for screening because they are not familiar with the prevalence of conditions among certain minority groups
- Clinicians may fail to take into account differing responses to medication or lack knowledge about traditional remedies, leading to harmful drug interactions
- Clinicians may make diagnostic errors resulting from miscommunication or order fewer diagnostic tests for patients of different cultural backgrounds because they may not understand the patient’s description of symptoms. Alternatively, clinicians may order more diagnostic tests to compensate for not understanding their patients
- Patients may not adhere to medical advice because they do not understand or do not trust clinicians
Staff may also require assistance to manage complex interactions where Pacific patients involve their wider family in their healthcare decision making.
How can Cultural Support be provided?
Cultural support for patients can be provided in a number of ways:
- Referral to interpreting services where translation and/or interpretation of information is required
- Training and development through attendance of cultural competency and awareness raising programmes