Thursday, 30 June 2016
Health and Culture and the Arts Minister John Day today received the report, Use of the Arts to Improve Health and Healing in Western Australian Hospitals, which maps current levels of arts activity in clinical environments in WA.
Mr Day said the research highlighted considerable demand for arts activities in the health system from both the public and clinicians, with significant interventions already occurring from music therapy for oncology patients to artists in residence programs.
"In my capacity as Minister for Culture and the Arts, I have supported a number of projects that utilised the arts to promote healthy outcomes and have witnessed their success," he said.
"An outstanding example is the Western Desert Kidney Health Project, which tailored health care to the community and individuals in need as well as using the power of arts and storytelling to make health education and prevention both meaningful and successful.
"The new Perth Children's Hospital also promises to be an outstanding example of the incorporation of arts into the healing environment."
The report was commissioned by the WA Arts and Health Consortium Reference Group and funded by Lotterywest, the Liberal National Government through the departments of Culture and the Arts and Health, and St John of God Health Care.
A total of 20 metropolitan public and private hospitals and six of seven WA Country Health Service regions representing 60 hospitals were contacted and invited to take part in the hospital questionnaire. Ninety per cent of hospitals responded, with three-quarters indicating they deliver arts and health activities.
"It is pleasing to see the Government's Percent for Art Scheme praised for delivering 'in spades'," Mr Day said.
"It also notes the Royalties for Regions program has fostered strong community and arts sector engagement with the health system.
"The key findings include high consumer support for arts interventions while in hospital as either a patient or a visitor but that, at present, there is little evidence of overall co-ordination, strategy or planning to underpin arts and health activities on hospital sites."
The report found arts and health practice most evident in paediatrics, mental health, aged care and Aboriginal health, with some health professionals employing art in their clinical practice.
"I look forward to considering the report's five recommendations, which focus on the potential of policy development and improved co-ordination to promote arts and health practice across WA," the Minister said.
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