Cultural safety

Council requires doctors to meet cultural safety standards. Cultural safety focuses on the patient and provides space for patients to be involved in decision-making about their own care, and contribute to the achievement of positive health outcomes and experiences.

Council is dedicated to investigating ways of working together to improve cultural safety. Cultural safety benefits all patients and communities, and has a central role in health equity.

Key documents

  • Statement on cultural safety

    This statement outlines what cultural safety means and why it is important. The document reflects the evolution of thinking away from the cultural competence of doctors – that is acquiring skills and knowledge of other cultures – towards self-reflection of a doctor’s own attitudes and biases that may affect the cultural safety of patients. Council requires doctors to meet these cultural safety standards.

  • Māori experience disparities in outcomes compared to the rest of the population across nearly all areas of health due to inequity in determinants of health, including access to quality health care. This document outlines Council’s position on how doctors can support the achievement of best health outcomes for Māori. It also provides guidance for healthcare organisations to support cultural safety and Māori health equity. This document should be read in conjunction with Council’s Statement on cultural safety.

  • Council, in partnership with Te Ohu Rata o Aotearoa (Te ORA), jointly hosted a highly successful symposium on cultural competence, partnership and health equity on 25 June 2019. The theme of the symposium was Mahia te mahi, hei painga mō te iwi, Getting the job done for the wellbeing of the people. The event aimed to investigate ways of working together to improve cultural safety in order to work towards eliminating health inequities. This booklet brings together the presentations and whakaaro shared at the symposium.