Nova Scotia is a diverse province with a number of long-standing and newcomer populations that are represented through a variety of aspects including; race, ethnicity, language, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, (dis)ability, spirituality, age, geography, literacy, education, income and more.
Nova Scotia promotes our diversity and recognizes that providing equitable health care to patients with diverse values, backgrounds, beliefs and behaviours is important to increasing access and reducing health disparities. As a province we are actively building a culturally competent health care system able to tailor delivery to meet patient needs. We are developing the attitudes, knowledge, skills, behaviours and policies required to better care for all the people Nova Scotia's health care system serves.
Key to these efforts is the development and support of a diverse health workforce that is representative of the people of Nova Scotia. Already, Nova Scotians and health-care providers are benefiting from this approach. We have added community interpreters and developed a new set of guidelines for health-care professionals to ensure those from diverse cultures receive quality care. Nurses employed by Mi'kmaq communities have access to the training, education, policies and guidelines they need to deliver excellent care in their communities. And health-care workers are developing a greater appreciation of each others' values, knowledge and abilities. Through the Inter-professional Cancer Education Program, they are learning more about delivering collaborative, patient-centered care with respect for diverse cultures.