Social Determinants of Indigenous Health Essay
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Bringing enhancement in the health condition and well being of indigenous population has become issue of major concern. In context of Australia, there has been great inequality between indigenous and non- indigenous Australian which is noted by world health organisation. Different factors such as cultural, social, historical and political variables which has influenced the healthcare of indigenous people in Australia. Social determinant of health is basically an economic situation in specific regions that is indirectly affecting health of people in that particular region. The social determinants of Indigenous health are multifold and are interrelated in their cause and effect.
In this essay we will mainly have focus on discussing the health issues of indigenous people. There will also be discussion on problems which indigenous Australians are experiencing within present health care system. In essay we will also emphasize on influence of social determinants of health such as socioeconomic status, early life and psychological distress on Aboriginal Torres Strait and Islander people.
Who are indigenous people?
Indigenous people are basically tribes, ethnic groups, aboriginals those who are part of nation. Indigenous people differ from other citizens in that they symbolize a vast diversity of convictions, philosophies, and customs.
Social determinants of Indigenous health
There are number of factors in environment which can influence an individual health. Health’s social determinants are those variables which can have both positive and negative influence on well being of people and communities. Few social determinants of indigenous social health are Housing, education, employment and income.
Importance of social determinant of health
There are numbers of health drivers which are found outside the healthcare system such as environment where people live, play and work. These factors shape their opportunities for improving their health. The different social determinants of health are housing, employment, poverty, income, distribution of resources and power etc. All these factors can negatively influence physical and mental health in different ways such as rise in risk of infectious disease, smoking, use of alcohol etc.
Access to healthcare is important social determinant of health. Social and economic inequalities lead to differences in the social determinants of health between population groups, which in turn lead to health inequalities. It is the social determinant in Australia which has significantly influences the health and well being of Aboriginal Torres strait and Islander people in Australia. These people are residing in remote areas. They are facing many issues in relation to determinants such as poor housing conditions, ear and eye infections, mental ill health etc.
The main cause of such health issues are overcrowded households. There are high rate of incarceration which has undermine Aboriginal Torres Strait and Islander people in Australia. Processes of colonization have dis empowered Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and have lead to inequalities.
Indigenous health gap
There is great improvement in national indigenous health policy like assimilation of indigenous allied health Australia. But still indigenous people in Australia have access to poorer health care services as compared to non- indigenous Australian.
Causes of gap
According to survey it is due to behavioral aspects because of which indigenous Torres Strait and Islander people in Australia are having poor health. The main cause of health gap is the failure of addressing the root causes. Other aspects that have widened the gap include:
Behavioral risk factors
Some behavior risk factors include:
- Smoking habit
- Low consumption of fruits and vegetables
All the above factors have widened the gap significantly. These unsafe behaviors have lead to social disadvantages.
Access to health services
The main reason for health gap is poor access to valuable health services. Few reasons that hinder indigenous Australians from having access to health care include distance and lack of transportation. Other important reason is lack of inexpensive services among others. Indigenous health issues can also be linked to the fact that children born into these families usually reside in remote places where governments does not invest on providing social services.
Closing the gap by addressing social determinants of health
Government of Australia after addressing the social determinants influencing health of ATSI people has implemented the closing the gap strategy. They have implemented the strategy for allowing Aboriginal Torres and Islander people to have access to education, employment and health care facilities.
From the above essay on social determinants of indigenous health, it has been concluded that improper behavior aspects has negative effect on ATSI people health. Other factor which has been found is that the main cause of poor health of indigenous people is failure of government to address the social determinants which has caused the inequalities in access to health services.
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