Sharing another story from a reader
I work at the local AMS (Aboriginal Medical Service), I had to take an Uncle to the hospital he has cancer, I can’t give you any details because that is his story, not mine.
I took Uncle up, made sure he had everything he needed, told the staff of his cultural needs and left. The next day I went up to check on him and to see if they had done the surgery. Poor Uncle was so upset and one of the Aboriginal hospital staff was with him. I asked what had happened. I was told that a nurse sought help and asked for one of the Aboriginal Hospital Liaison officers to come. She called a female AHL ( Aboriginal Hospital Liaison) , a young one at that. Uncle tried to explain he needed a man to talk to about his cancer. The young AHL, who isn’t from this country, doesn’t know his needs and was at a loss as to how to help him.
I asked the nurse if the hospital has a male AHL and was told no. This amazed me. They need to have a male and a female worker there because Men’s Business and Women’s Business are very important to the local community. The hospital needs to work with us to make sure things run smoothly for our mob to help them get better health outcomes.
So I talked to Uncle about what the nurse wanted to talk to him about. I then said down with some of the staff and explained how important it was. He is an old man, he cannot be undressed around young women. He cannot talk about private body parts with young women. Luckily the staff seemed to understand and then I went to talk with the Hospital Liaison officers and told them what was happening in the community, and that it’s not their fault that they are not from here and don’t know. But in future they need to talk to the community and the AMS so that when our men come in they have a man there if they need it.