It hinges on the door: Time, spaces and identity in Australian Aboriginal Health Services
|Published:||17 December 2014|
This paper explores how the structuring of places and time influence Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patient and carer experiences of health services. Face-to-face in-depth interviews were conducted with urban Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with diabetes, chronic heart failure or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease as well as family carers (N = 19). Content analysis was undertaken. Participants report that each element of the time spent in Aboriginal Medical Services is seen as more valuable and worthwhile than in mainstream health services, from social and health sharing experiences in the waiting room to health care in clinical places; and that users feel they can rely on sufficient time and respectful care in their clinical consultation. Purposeful design of both physical and temporal aspects of health services is called for. We suggest re-introducing opportunities for spatiotemporal design in health care that have been limited by the segmented ‘person as illness’ design features of Australia’s current mainstream health system.