Health Literacy

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Health Literacy is the interaction between individuals, communities, health care professionals, organisations and systems.


Health literacy has two parts:

  • Individual Health Literacy - the skills and knowledge needed to find, understand, and use information and services to make decisions about health and health care.

  • The Health Literacy Environment – how easy or hard your organisation is to use and understand.


Why is Health Literacy important?

About 60% of Australians have low health literacy. This means accessing, understanding or appropriately using health information is difficult for most people. This can lead to poorer health, more use of hospitals, difficulty controlling medical conditions, medication mistakes and greater health expenses.

For healthy people and effective health services we need to:

  • Improve health literacy levels across the population

  • Improve the health literacy environments within our services, to match the health literacy levels of the people who use our services.




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We respectfully acknowledge the traditional land of the first peoples and we acknowledge the Dja Dja Wurrung, Barapa Barapa, Wegaia, Taungurung, Wurunderji Woi Wurrung, Wemba Wemba and Yorta Yorta people who are the traditional custodians of this land. We pay respect to their elders past, present and emerging. We express our gratitude in the sharing of this land, our sorrow for the personal, spiritual and cultural costs of that sharing and our hope that we may walk forward together in harmony and in the spirit of healing.