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Multicultural Health - Guidelines to Practice

Providing Care to Patients From Culturally and Linguistically

Diverse Backgrounds: Guidelines to Practice



This guide aims to enhance the delivery and quality of health care to culturally and linguistically diverse communities.  The information is not specific to any single cultural group, rather it presents guidelines to issues that may present in areas of health care, in which culture might make a difference.
(Cultural Diversity - a guide for health professionals presents cultural profiles on specific ethnic communities in Queensland). 

It was developed for Queensland Health on the basis of research conducted by the Australian Centre for International and Tropical Health and Nutrition, The University of Queensland, from November 1997 to April 1998. The guidelines were compiled with the assistance of staff from various hospitals in South East Queensland, interpreters and consumers from various cultural backgrounds.  The Checklists for Cultural Assessment is a companion to this popular resource.

Please note: as this publication was published in 1998 some of the contact details are dated.  Click here for up-to-date contact details for a wide range of services.


Preface Death and dying
Introduction Allied health
Communicating effectively (part 1) Models of health and illness
Communicating effectively (part 2) Medication including traditional medicine
Language issues Family and community
Staff-patient relationships Religion
Understanding hospital systems Gender and modesty
Admission Diet and food preferences
Investigations Pain and disability
Paediatrics Discharge
Birthing practices Resources (part 1)
Surgery/critical care Resources (part 2)
Medicine References



Last updated: 1 October 2013

What's new?

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Health Care Providers' Handbook on Sikh Patients
Aquick-reference tool for health workers to use when caring for Sikh patients. The handbook aims to help health workers understand the religious beliefs and practices of Sikhs that can affect health care.

Health Care Providers' Handbook on Hindu Patients
A quick-reference tool for health workers to use when caring for Hindu patients. The handbook aims to help health workers understand the religious beliefs and practices of Hindus that can affect health care.

Community profiles for health care providers
A series of 18 cultural profiles that aim to assist health care providers to better understand the health beliefs, pre-migration experiences, communication preferences and other aspects of their clients' culture.

Death and hospitalisation rates by country of birth in Queensland

Cross Cultural Learning and Development Calendar 2012
A calendar which contains the dates for all Queensland Health cross cultural learning and development training courses for 2012.

Complaints about health or other services

Do you have concerns about a government or non-government health service or are you unhappy with the way an issue has been handled? Do you think you have been treated unfairly or are you concerned about a decision or action of a health professional?

It is ok to complain, and there are organisations that are independent of the government that can help you, free of charge.

Go to the Queensland Independent Complaint Agencies' website for more information.