More than 1,000 Aboriginal people shared their experiences of care in emergency departments and as admitted patients in NSW public hospitals. Listening to what Aboriginal people have to say about their experiences of care is an important step in helping to ensure they receive high-quality healthcare, tailored to their needs.

Key Findings:

  • In emergency departments, while the majority of patients said they were treated respectfully, Aboriginal patients were significantly less likely to say they were ‘always’ treated with respect and dignity – 75% compared with 85% of nonAboriginal patients.
  • In hopsital care, around seven in 10 Aboriginal patients (73%) said health professionals ‘always’ explained things in a way they could understand, significantly lower than the result for non-Aboriginal patients (83%).
  • The most pronounced differences occurred for experiences regarding respect, communication and engagement with families, with gaps of around 10 percentage points. For example, around seven in 10 Aboriginal patients (72%) said their family member or carer was given the ‘right amount’ of information compared with around eight in 10 non-Aboriginal patients (82%). Additionally, more than six in 10 Aboriginal patients (65%) said doctors ‘always’ answered questions in a way they could understand, compared with more than seven in 10 non-Aboriginal patients (76%).

The results of these surveys will provide hospitals with valuable information about what they are doing well and where they can improve care to better meet the needs of Aboriginal people.

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