‘Health literacy’ is being able to obtain, understand and use basic health information to navigate health services and make appropriate health decisions. It is the responsibility of the healthcare professional to present health information in a way that a consumer can understand. The Three steps to better health literacy: a guide for health care professionals is a useful tool.
Health providers try to provide quality services to all consumers in their care. However, factors such as age, poverty (deprivation), ethnicity, housing, health care service design and government policies can all influence health. This page on the Commission’s website provides a number of strategies to help address inequities in the New Zealand health and disability sector.
Cultural safety and cultural competence
Cultural safety is recognising and respecting the cultural identities of others, and safely meeting their needs, expectations and rights, contributing to the achievement of positive health outcomes and experiences.
- Cultural competence is having the attitudes, skills and knowledge needed to achieve cultural safety. Find out more on the Health Navigator website.
- Hauora Māori (Māori health) competency is a pathway for health care professionals who wish to improve their cultural competency in order to reduce the disparity in health outcomes between Māori and non-Māori. Find out more on the Health Navigator website.