CALD communities

Mercy Health welcomes patients, clients and family members from a wide variety of countries, cultures and backgrounds. The people who access our services come from 188 countries, speak 165 languages and follow 88 religious faiths. Our staff are also diverse, hailing from 131 countries and speaking 73 languages.

Mercy Health seeks to improve the health and wellbeing of everyone who accesses our services, particularly the most vulnerable such as migrants and refugees. We seek to partner with communities so that we can develop more effective, meaningful and culturally responsive services.

For example, our Healthy Eating for Gestational Diabetes information sheets were developed in collaboration with women from Arabic, Chinese, Persian and Vietnamese communities. These culturally adapted, plain language, bilingual information sheets are provided to women during language specific education sessions.

This year, a study conducted in partnership with the University of Melbourne, HealthWest Partnership and the Centre for Culture, Ethnicity and Health has shown that these information sheets combined with education sessions have made a significant difference in helping women from these backgrounds manage their gestational diabetes. More specifically, women reported (through a certified interpreter):

  • reduced anxiety — “Reduced worry in me and my family and it helped me eating food – proper portions – as I did not know it (Persian participant)
  • increased confidence — “My confidence has increased as information is very useful by following information I divide meal into six times a day and my sugar levels have reduced” (Vietnamese participant)
  • changed food portions, choices and meal plans — “Meal plans are very useful – has lot of info – sample menu is very specific and I can… copy meal plan” (Chinese participant)
  • increased knowledge and skills — “The information we received will help us to manage gestational diabetes and not turn into type 2 diabetes, and if I decide to have another child it will still be in my mind” (Arabic participant)
  • positive flow-on effect to family and friends — “Shared it with lots of my friends as a way to reduce weight – a diet guide” (Chinese participant).

This feedback demonstrates the value of developing culturally adapted health information and education resources and not just translations of mainstream concepts, resources and information.

The findings have been published in the report – Understanding the Impact of Organisational Health Literacy Initiatives on Clients

Last reviewed February 14, 2021.

Your experience matters

Mercy Health participates in surveys to gain a better understanding of the patient experience and identify opportunities for improvement. These surveys provide valuable data and feedback and are an important way to measure the quality of care we provide.

Your experience matters

Choosing Wisely at Mercy Health

Choosing Wisely is a global initiative that seeks to improve the safety and quality of healthcare for patients. Mercy Health is participating in the Choosing Wisely initiative, along with a number of other health services. As a Choosing Wisely Champion Health Service, Mercy Health is also a member of NPS MedicineWise.

Choosing Wisely at Mercy Health

Who we are

In 2019/20 Mercy Health provided over 16,000 interpreting services across our sites. The demand continues to grow, as does the range of languages spoken by people who access our services. Across both Mercy Hospital for Women and Werribee Mercy Hospital, 74.5 per cent of patients who needed an interpreter received one. The top 10 languages...
Who we are