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Health Care Essay: Impact Of Current And Historical Events On Communities


Task: You are required to construct Health care essay to compare and critically analyze the historical events, health care policies and service provisions on the health of two culturally diverse communities.


The present Health care essay is focused on addressing the health policies within Australia. The Australian federation comprises of six states and two territories with its government (Gee, Dudgeon, Schultz, Hart & Kelly, 2014). Health policies within Australia are developed nationally along with regional focus. The healthcare system in Australia is identified to be one of the best in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The distribution of the healthcare system is provided to the general public through public hospitals and public insurances. There have been noted gross disparities in health policies amongst general Australians and the Aboriginal and Islander Strait peoples. The Aboriginal and Islander Strait people are the Indigenous population in Australia consisting of a small segment of the overall population of 2.4%, and numbering only 400, 000 people. Several historical and current events have impacted health care policies and service provisions on the health of the two culturally diverse communities (Stewart, Sanson?Fisher, Eades & Fitzgerald, 2012). The current health care essay analyses the impact of the current and historical event on the known risk factors for each cultural group and ways in which health care policies and service provisions have impacted health outcomes for each cultural group.

As per the readings obtained in this Health care essay, it is noted that the healthcare system in Australia is regarded as one of the best in the world that provides affordable and safe healthcare for Australians. It functions together with support from all levels of the federal, state, territory and local levels of the Australian government. Health care providers in Australia deliver primary care services with general practitioners (GPs), medical specialists, nurses and allied health workers (Walker & Sonn, 2010). Public hospital system along with Medicare provides low-cost or free access to most Australians, with private health insurances providing choice outside the public system. The historical and current state of events has helped shape health policies for general Australians as well as Aboriginal and Islander Torres Strait people.

Current and historical events impact on known risk factors
The Australian healthcare model operates at the welfare state model, the market model, and the hybrid model. It has been noted in Australia that Aboriginal people have considerably shorter life expectancy with a higher burden of ill-health throughout their life course as per Tsey et al (2010). While the general Australian population enjoys a higher life expectancy with healthier lives, similar to other developed nations, it is not the same with Aboriginals. The articles used to develop this Health care essay mentioned that there are a number of historical and current factors that are known to bear the increased risk of ill-health amongst Aboriginals and the Islander Torres strait people. The historical impacts from colonization have been the major factor leading to deteriorated health amongst the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (Dudgeon, Wright, Paradies, Garvey & Walker, 2010). Colonization eroded the traditional lifeways, culture, and self-determination amongst the Aboriginal population. Racism, marginalization from the society, discrimination and ongoing forced removal of children from Aboriginal families are the major acts that deteriorated social, emotional and physical wellbeing amongst the Aboriginals. The Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that the life expectancy of Aboriginals at birth is short by 9.7 years for females and 11.5 years for males when compared against general Australians. The gross general population, on the other hand, remains greatly unaffected from such impacts of colonization. It indicates that detailed investigation has been carried on for achieving the research objectives used to develop this health care essay.

 The evidence of the health gap between aboriginals and non-aboriginals is primarily attributed to non-communicable diseases occurring in middle-aged generations (Rickwood, Dudgeon & Gridley, 2010). This particular health care essay is focused on identifying the risk factors associated with the health gap that are attributed to high usage of tobacco, high body mass index (BMI), lack of physical exercise, high levels of blood cholesterol and increased rates of alcohol consumption. Colonization led to a lack of education with the Aboriginal people being half less likely to have completed post-secondary education qualification as compared to general Australians. A small percentage of Aboriginals receive mainstream education as compared to non-aboriginals, which is a cause of the Aboriginal health crisis. Couzos (2004) states that education is a major component of social-economic status which undermines health in multiple numbers of ways. Lack of education affects the ability of aboriginals to acquire information related to the right preparation of healthy food and proper nutrition. It also reduces skills of h8uman resources need to secure jobs in the labor market, leading to low paying jobs amongst aboriginals (Heath, Bor, Thompson & Cox, 2011). Thus, from the perspectives of several researches used to prepare the Health care essay, it can be stated that aboriginals plunge into poverty, social exclusion and increased instability of the family which results in a vicious cycle of poverty leading to school dropout, decreasing literacy rates and also employability. As the medical process required literacy of a person for treating disease in the mainstream health system, lack of education leads to raising the risk of an aboriginal health crisis, compared against general Australian cultural people.

The majority of aboriginals avoid seeking healthcare until the disease is at critical levels. Aboriginals also find it difficult to communicate the disease or symptoms with healthcare providers (Davidson et al, 2013). Current events include, the Aboriginal community regards the healthcare system to be foreign, which shuns healthcare interventions while preferring native medications provided by native doctors. Employment and income levels for aboriginals are a major socio-economic element that has been affected historically through colonization that has dampened the access to resources and conditions necessary for access to health to date. Employment and gross household income for aboriginals are seen to be 62% less as compared to the non-aboriginals as per AIHWS. This level of income declines with geographic remoteness. In urban areas, it was found that aboriginal incomes compare to 70% of the corresponding income of non-aboriginal people, in the case of remote areas, it corresponds to 60% and in areas that are very remote, it corresponds to 40% of income as compared to non-aboriginal people. By 15 years and above, 52% of aboriginal people were found to be active in the labor market (Connell, 2012). The rate of participation in the labor market decreased as the remoteness increased with the rate being 57% across major cities, and in remote areas, it is 46%. The unemployment rate amongst aboriginals was found to be 20% higher as when compared against non-aboriginals, which was estimated to be about three times. Moreover, most aboriginals have been classified as working in community Development Employment projects (EDEP). With aboriginal communities ranking lower in the economy, its direct consequences were poor housing, low levels of literacy with meager community economic resources. Poverty can be regarded as the primary risk factor that influenced the aboriginal health crisis or lack of material resources such as nutritious food, high-quality health care or consumption of appropriate food.

A major contemporary issue identified in the context of this Health care essay includes, dissemination of national health to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across Australia being a very challenging task for the government as well as for its delegation officers (van Dijk et al, 2013). Historical and current events have contributed significantly to the enduring reasons that have affected the implementation of aboriginal policies. Hostility and harm minimization policies remained committed towards abstinence-oriented modalities and move away from mainstream approaches. Genuine and accurate interventions with environmental control approaches can gain significant outcomes in the current situation. The National Aboriginal Health Strategy was developed in the year 1989 endorsed by the government in Australia in 1990 for setting a comprehensive program for improving the status of Aboriginal people. The majority of Aboriginal health programs remain under-funded and there needs to be an evaluation of the National Aboriginal Health Strategy for reducing the profound impact on aboriginal health (Thomas, Bainbridge & Tsey, 2014). Though the Deeble Report on Aboriginal Health expenditure in 1998 demonstrates the same per capita expenditure for all health services for Aboriginals and non-Aboriginals, it needs to be at least three times given the appalling state of Aboriginal health. It needs to be noted that the funding to the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services has diminished since 1996 with operations known as “efficiency dividends”. This again increased the gap existing in health care services as rendered to aboriginals as compared to non-aboriginals. 

What are the Health care policies and service provisions obtained in this Health care essay that are influencing health outcomes?
 Major developments in national aboriginal health policy began since 1967 with a constitutional amendment referendum including Indigenous Australians in the census. This marked an era of bringing into the limelight the importance of aboriginal health in Australia (Dodgson, Hughes, Foster & Metcalfe, 2011). In 1976 a report was published for fulfilling responsibilities for Indigenous policy development and administration. This policy marked a phase for evaluation of the aboriginal policies for health that has been implemented along with the evaluation of resources and funding on it. With this policy framework discussed in the context of Health care essay, the focus was drawn on the prevailing health disparity and in-appropriate fund application which was not directed at enhancing health outcomes for the aboriginals. In 1980 an internal government report for evaluating the effectiveness of the program for indigenous health policy development was undertaken. This review revealed the several gaps existing amongst the aboriginals and non-aboriginal health outcomes. Though an initiative was undertaken for the aboriginals and the need was felt, there was still lagging health outcomes associated directly amongst the aboriginals as compared to the non-aboriginals.

 It was only in 1992 with a High Court Mabo Case, the courts recognized indigenous rights. It called upon several impending issues of aboriginal health surfaced and distribution and control of Commonwealth funds through ATSIC regional councils to community organization was met for the first time. This provided a framework for catering to health services and enhanced health outcomes for the aboriginals in Australia (Hankivsky, 2012). A framework for bilateral agreements between the Commonwealth and State or Territory government emerged to implement programs and services for the aboriginals. In 1995, the responsibility was transferred from the ATSIC to the Office for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Services (OATSIHS). This office took initiatives directed at various aboriginal health outcomes which led to increased efficiency. It provided a Framework Agreement on indigenous health issues at the State and Territory levels. The readings utilized in the Health care essay also mentions that in 2002 the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) decided to publish a report on the indigenous disadvantaged group. The aim was to underpin better policy and practice that would bring at par aboriginal and general cultural health outcomes (Mudd, 2010). According to the research conducted to develop the Health care essay, it is illustrated that in 2003, the primary health care within contemporary policies was addressed by the National Strategic Framework. This led to the official setting up of individual separate framework to support and uplift the health outcomes of the aboriginals. It saw implementation at the national levels with coordination with support at the community levels. It helped address the disparity in health that existed across various health care services. Though it aimed at bridging major health services, there still exist gaps which such policies intend at fulfilling.

Therefore, considering the overall analysis of the study examined in the Health care essay, it can be said that the non-aboriginal government along with their agencies have oppressed the facilitation of health care policies. The root cause of ill health amongst Aboriginal and Islander Strait people historically can be seen associated with cultural, social, economic, religious and spiritual dispossession of the people. Though there has been documentation of the gross disproportionality yet there is subsequent less implementation of these reports. Emphasizing positive achievements has subdued the overwhelming burden of ill health. There has been some technical approach from the Aboriginal health sector but it has been significantly small as compared to the overall strategy. For example, the medical model does not have much legitimacy in the Aboriginal health strategy. Oppressive behaviors and racial prejudices account for the major disparity in health outcomes between the Aboriginals and Islander Strait people and general Australians.

Connell, R. (2012). Gender, health and theory: conceptualizing the issue, in local and world perspective. Social science & medicine, 74(11), 1675-1683. Health care essay doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2011.06.006

Davidson, P.M., Jiwa, M., DiGiacomo, M.L., McGrath, S.J., Newton, P.J., Durey, A.J., Bessarab, D.C. and Thompson, S.C. (2013). The experience of lung cancer in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and what it means for policy, service planning and delivery. Australian Health Review, 37(1), 70-78. doi: 10.1071/AH10955

Dodgson, M., Hughes, A., Foster, J., & Metcalfe, S. (2011). Systems thinking, market failure, and the development of innovation policy: The case of Australia. Research Policy, 40(9), 1145-1156. doi: 10.1016/j.respol.2011.05.015

Dudgeon, P., Wright, M., Paradies, Y., Garvey, D., & Walker, I. (2010). Health care essay The social, cultural and historical context of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. Working together: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health and wellbeing principles and practice, 25-42, viewed from <>

Gee, G., Dudgeon, P., Schultz, C., Hart, A., & Kelly, K. (2014). Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander social and emotional wellbeing. Health care essay Working together: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health and wellbeing principles and practice, 2, 55-68, viewed from <>

Hankivsky, O. (2012). Women’s health, men’s health, and gender and health: implications of intersectionality. Health care essay Social science & medicine, 74(11), 1712-1720. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2011.11.029

Heath, F., Bor, W., Thompson, J., & Cox, L. (2011). Diversity, disruption, continuity: Parenting and social and emotional wellbeing amongst Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islanders. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy, 32(4), 300-313. doi: 10.1375/S0814723X0000190X

Mudd, G. M. (2010). The environmental sustainability of mining in Australia: key mega-trends and looming constraints. Resources Policy, 35(2), 98-115. doi: 10.1016/j.resourpol.2009.12.001

Rickwood, D., Dudgeon, P., & Gridley, H. (2010). A history of psychology in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health. Working together: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health and wellbeing principles and practice, 13-24, viewed from <>

Stewart, J. M., SANSON?FISHER, R. W., Eades, S., & Fitzgerald, M. (2012). The risk status, screening history and health concerns of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people attending an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service. Drug and alcohol review, 31(5), 617-624. doi: 10.1111/j.1465-3362.2012.00455.x

Thomas, D. P., Bainbridge, R., & Tsey, K. (2014). Changing discourses in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health research, 1914?2014. Health care essay Medical Journal of Australia, 201(S1), S15-S18, viewed from

van Dijk, A. I., Beck, H. E., Crosbie, R. S., de Jeu, R. A., Liu, Y. Y., Podger, G. M., ... & Viney, N. R. (2013). The Millennium Drought in southeast Australia (2001–2009): Natural and human causes and implications for water resources, ecosystems, economy, and society. Water Resources Research, 49(2), 1040-1057. doi: 10.1002/wrcr.20123

Walker, R., & Sonn, C. (2010). Working as a culturally competent mental health practitioner. Health care essay Working together: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health and wellbeing principles and practice, 157-180, viewed from <>


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