Health care in a globalised world: is there more than one type of patient?

Pupalan Iyngkaran and Michael Jelinek
Med J Aust 2019; 210 (5): . || doi: 10.5694/mja2.50035
Published online: 18 March 2019

Clinical care guidelines for collecting and using information on the cultural heritage of patients are needed

We cannot escape globalism or its consequences for medical practice. The article by Morgan and colleagues in this issue of the Journal1 could not have been better timed to initiate a debate about diversity and Western medical paradigms. The authors examined how often and why the cultural heritage of patients — a broad field encompassing ethnic background and national heritage, their religious, cultural and socio‐economic diversity — was cited during medical handovers and in electronic records in a Perth hospital. Aboriginality was mentioned by clinicians much more frequently than other backgrounds. The interpretation and implications of their findings are complex and challenging.

  • Pupalan Iyngkaran1
  • Michael Jelinek2

  • 1 Northern Territory Medical School, Flinders University, Darwin, NT
  • 2 St Vincent's Hospital, Melbourne, VIC

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


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