OUR VALUES & BELIEFS

Collaborative
Accessible
Safe
Empowering

We aim to provide the right health care, in the right place, at the right time.
Our values are underpinned by NSW Health’s CORE values: Collaboration  Openness  Respect  Empowerment (NSW Health 2015)

We believe:

  • All women deserve to be treated with dignity and respect
  • Women’s racial, cultural and lifestyle diversity deserve to be respected in accordance with women’s basic human rights
  • In women’s ability to define their own health needs
  • In women’s rights to make informed choices about their health management
  • In women’s ability to participate in and take responsibility for their own well being
  • In a client-centred approach to service delivery, which is non-labelling and non-pathologising and respects women’s stories
  • In women’s right to have their privacy respected when seeking service from the centre
  • Health and well being is enhanced by trusting professional relationships and the provision of a safe and friendly environment
  • Women’s health status is improved through advocating for social change at State and Federal levels
  • Information, consultation, advocacy and community development are important elements of the health process
  • Health promotion, disease prevention and strengthening the primary health care system are as important as providing high quality illness treatment services

THE UNDERLYING PRINCIPLES OF OUR BELIEFS…

The underlying philosophy of Leichhardt Women’s Community Health Centre is feminist. The basic principles of feminism informing our approach are:

  • A gender analysis of the mainstream health system
  • A social definition of health
  • An wholistic approach to health care
  • Empowerment
  1.  A gender analysis of the mainstream health system
    A gender analysis of women’s health attributes the high degree of physical and mental illness experienced by women to oppression perpetrated by patriarchal gender relationships. (Broom 1991:127). The mainstream health system reinforces a predominantly male view of women’s bodies and often does not offer management of long term health problems, choice of treatment or adequate information about preventative strategies around specific women’s health issues involving sexual, reproductive and psychosocial issues. The main purpose of women’s health centers is to provide specific health services in a manner which enables women to take back control of their own bodies and lives.
  2.  A social definition of health
    The concept of ‘social health’ broadens the definition of health to include not only the physical but emotional, social and psychological aspects of well being. This concept attributes people’s physical and emotional well being to social structures/constructs as well as to each individual. It takes health out of the private sphere into the public arena where issues such as domestic violence and sexual abuse are no longer private family matters but social and legal issues.
  3. An wholistic approach to health care
    At all levels of contact the client is treated wholistically. This means that it is not only the physical symptoms that are treated but there is examination and management of the emotional and social issues that affect women’s health as well as their relationship to significant others such as children and partners. Often a woman will be referred to other services both within and outside the Centre so that all contributing factors to health are addressed.
  4. Empowerment
    Empowerment of women is a major focus in all aspects of services delivery. Providing the circumstances in which women can make informed choices encourages and promotes strength and resilience. Empowerment is achieved through implementing health promotion strategies such as awareness raising and information provision, listening to women and providing them with treatment options.