Culturally Competent Commissioning; Meeting the Needs of Canada’s Diverse Communities: The Road Map to a Culturally Competent Mental Health System for All – 2018

Cultural competence has proven to be a very efficient tool in reducing healthcare disparities and improving healthcare experiences, compliance with therapy, and reducing incidents of misdiagnosis. This effect is because professionals are recognizing the value and significance of including the person in need of services in their assessment and decision making. While this rationale has also long been considered part of good practice among healthcare professionals (providers) within the mental health arena and nursing care and the success of its use has been reported widely in the provider and insurance arena, the notion seems to have escaped the commissioning arena. Commissioners are responsible for specifying, procuring, and monitoring services and are missing out on the value of completing culturally competent needs assessments for their localities. Synonymous with cultural competence is “person-centred care.” In recent times, cultural competence has contributed much to the commissioning of dementia services in a bid to improve and promote person-centred care. It could be argued that there is no person-centred care without cultural competence, which, in simplistic terms, can be defined as care that is undertaken in partnership with the recipient and is of value and significance to the recipient. Culturally competent commissioning and provision of care is therefore to be recommended as capable of addressing quality issues and the problematic variation in services available.

Tiwalola Foluke Kolapo
Canadian Journal of Community Mental Health, 2018