​At the last Census in 2011, over 1.6 million NSW residents were born in a non-English speaking country and collectively they spoke over 150 different community languages.

In response to this diversity, the NSW Government has made access and equity the guiding principles for the development of government policy and the delivery of social services. To support these principles, the NSW Health system has policies, strategies and services in place to ensure quality health care for all people living within our culturally and linguistically diverse society.

The core policy directing multicultural health work in NSW is the Policy and Implementation Plan for Healthy Culturally Diverse Communities 2012-2016. This Policy is a state-wide strategy for improving the health of NSW residents from culturally, religiously and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Its guiding principles are:

  1. people from culturally, religiously and linguistically diverse backgrounds will have access to appropriate health information.eople from culturally, religiously and linguistically diverse backgrounds will have access to appropriate health information.
  2. people from culturally, religiously and linguistically diverse backgrounds will have access to quality health care services that recognise and respect their linguistic, cultural and religious needs.
  3. health policies, programs and services will respond in an appropriate way to the health needs of people from culturally, religiously and linguistically diverse backgrounds.ealth policies, programs and services will respond in an appropriate way to the health needs of people from culturally, religiously and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
  4. people from culturally, religiously and linguistically diverse backgrounds will have an opportunity to contribute to decisions about health services that affect them.
  5. multicultural health programs and services will be evidence-based and/or support best practice in the provision of health services in a culturally, religiously and linguistically diverse society.ulticultural health programs and services will be evidence-based and/or support best practice in the provision of health services in a culturally, religiously and linguistically diverse society.

Under the policy, services for culturally, religiously and linguistically diverse communities are primarily delivered through Local Health Districts, with districts having a tailored strategy for their own communities based on local need and population demographics.

Specialist state-wide services target specific populations such as refugees, people living with HIV, those needing mental health services or specific areas of work such as communication, media campaigns, and translations. Professional Health Care Interpreter Services are also available across NSW Health facilities and services.​

Page Updated: Wednesday 9 August 2017
Contact page owner: Priority Programs