Bridging the cultural divide

Osborne Park Hospital Community Advisory Council chairwoman Joan Varian with council member Suresh Rajan. Picture: Marcus Whisson d412096
Osborne Park Hospital Community Advisory Council chairwoman Joan Varian with council member Suresh Rajan. Picture: Marcus Whisson d412096

He said the council’s voluntary members met the growing need for the hospital to provide culturally appropriate services.

‘There are more people of diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds coming to our hospital who access the services so they see it as a hospital that is responsive to their requirements,’ Mr Rajan said.

‘It’s important the hospital caters to the diversity of the community.’

Mr Rajan helps meet patients and their families’ needs so they receive the best care and feel comfortable in a hospital environment.

‘It’s bringing the questions of diversity to the hospital so I can raise issues related to things like the diet of Muslim people to make sure we are complying with their needs,’ he said.

‘It’s about taking into account the diversity, taking into account the language differences that may exist and the structure of the families that can differ from culture to culture.

‘It’s about respecting that diversity and adjuring to the charter of multiculturalism.’

Council chairwoman Joan Varian said the voluntary group played an important role in the hospital, giving the community a voice.

‘We look at things that matter to the community,’ she said.

‘The council is made up of volunteers who provide a vital link between OPH and the community by providing advice to the hospital on issues that affect local people.’

Ms Varian said the council was looking for new members who would increase its capacity to help patients and their families.

‘We are particularly keen to welcome people from Aboriginal and other multicultural backgrounds on to the council,’ she said.