Consumer Enablement Guide

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Working with Vulnerable People

The ability to access appropriate healthcare is a major component of a person’s enablement. People from CALD backgrounds can face multiple barriers to accessible healthcare, including the following.

  • Lack of awareness that a service exists or that it could benefit them.
  • Financial - being unable to afford services, or not seeking services because they assume they can’t afford them.
  • Lack of transport.
  • Mistrust of authority figures including health and medical professionals.
  • Feeling intimidated and afraid to access services that do not feel culturally safe.
  • Cultural beliefs about disease causes and management, different gender roles, and family involvement in decisions about health.
  • Language barriers.

All migrants to Australia should be supported to access information and education about the Australian health system. People are better at looking after their health when they know what healthcare services they can access, what they will cost and where to go for more information.

Enablement is hierarchal

A person may not be able to focus on looking after their health because they are worried about things such as housing, employment and family wellbeing.

Using a healthcare interpreter can increase cultural safety for people from refugee backgrounds, in addition to providing language support.