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Health Service for Australian Indigenous Population Report


Brief Introduction with Identification of the Subpopulation You Have Chosen

The indigenous population of Australia is represented by two major ethnic groups – the Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders. According to the data presented by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) (2017), the indigenous groups comprise about 2.8% of the entire Australian population. The Northern Territory of Australia is home to the largest segment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations in regard to their ratio to the other groups as the indigenous people represent over one-quarter of the NT population. At the same time, New South Wales is known to host the biggest segment of the indigenous population that is as large as 216000 people (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2017).

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations are recognized to face multiple inequalities and are known to be the most underprivileged ethnic groups in the country. The average weekly income of an indigenous household estimates $990 to $1200 (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2017). Health-related challenges faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations can be caused by their socioeconomic status, cultural and language differences, and geographical location.

Identify and Describe the Specific Health and Wellbeing Status of the Subgroup. Provide a Reference to Support This

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations are affected by a variety of conditions and diseases. The most common long-term conditions from which these groups tend to suffer include heart and vascular diseases, hypertensive disease, kidney disease, and diabetes (“Summary of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health,” 2016). Life expectancy at birth among the indigenous populations is lower than that of nonindigenous groups (Markwick, Ansari, Sullivan, Parsons, & McNeil, 2014).

The leading causes of death among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations include coronary heart disease, chronic lower respiratory disease, diabetes, and lung and related forms of cancer (“Summary of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health,” 2016; “Indigenous health,” n.d.).

Some of the main health risk factors experienced by these populations are tobacco smoking, excessive weight and obesity, high blood pressure, insufficient amounts of fruits and vegetables in diets, and such socioeconomic characteristics as high rates of unemployment, low level of education, and low level of income (“Overview of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health status,” 2016; Australian Human Rights Commission, n.d.).

Identify and Explain the Barriers That the Sub-population May Face When Accessing Health Services. Be Specific. Provide a Reference to Support This

The allocation of health service providers and resources in Australia can be quite uneven in some areas. To be more precise, compared to urban regions, rural areas usually face the scarcity of health service providing facilities (“Equity of access for all Australians,” 2016). Many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander groups of the population reside in rural areas and locations situated far away from city centers; as a result, their access to healthcare services is limited (“Why does the health gap exist?” n.d.).

Another barrier to access is presented by the cultural differences such as language and vision of health and health behaviors (“Equity of access for all Australians,” 2016). Namely, a large percentage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations belong to a culture that differs significantly from the Western culture dominant in Australia. As a result, the views and perceptions of health held by these groups can be very different and require a culture-sensitive approach.

One more barrier to access to care occurs due to the lack of information known about the aforementioned populations due to their mobility (van Gaans, D’Onise, Taylor, & McDermott, 2016). Because of this barrier, the collection of health-related data about these groups is complicated.

Select one of the Barriers Identified Above and Explain Two Aspects of Existing Health Service Provision That are Already in Place to Remove the Barrier and Support the Sub-Population. Provide a Reference to Support This

One of the major barriers to access to health care services faced by the indigenous populations of Australia is posed by their geographical location. However, there exist specialized health services that attempt to address the problem and match the existing need for care. The University of Queensland has created its own Indigenous Health Mobile Training Unit that targets the population of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities dwelling around the Toowoomba area (“Mobile indigenous health clinic reaches out to underserviced communities,” 2017).

The two aspects targeted by this service are the provision of culturally sensitive holistic care and the delivery of well-trained service providers to rural locations. This form of service pursues such goals as the prevention of risks and early detection of health threats. These goals are similar to those of telehealth services that provide care using communication technology (Caffery, Bradford, Wickramasinghe, Hayman, & Smith, 2017; Kabene, 2010). However, the interaction with healthcare providers in real life can be more beneficial for the recipients of care.

Identify and Explain Any Deficits in the Health Provisions for this Sub-Group and Make a Brief Proposal about How This Might Be Better Addressed by Your Fictitious Service

The proposed fictitious service is a mobile clinic that will provide culturally sensitive screening, consultation, education, and examination services, as well as carry out the collection of statistical data of different kinds for the purposes of research. The clinic will address three different needs of the target population – the need for accessible health care, information, culturally sensitive approach, and statistical data collection helping the Australian medical professionals research the specificity of the aforementioned groups, their needs, and health risk factors they experience. While the needs for care and information are actively addressed by several different mobile and telehealth services, not all geographical areas are covered equally.

Also, the mobility and location of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations complicate and limit the collection of health-related statistics and data that could help address some of their existing needs (van Gaans et al., 2016). The proposed clinic would be beneficial due to its mobility and the ability to reach out to underserved populations, provide them with necessary services and information, and gather specific information to assist various types of research.

Identify the Name of Your Fictitious Health Service

The name of the proposed mobile clinic will be the Accessible Care Mobile Unit.

Explain What the Service Aims to Do and How Your Service Will Address the Identified Needs of the Target Population Outlined in Question 5

The proposed service aims to address the need for accessible primary care among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations. Also, it will offer culturally sensitive examination, consultation, and health promotion services working with the help of staff members speaking the native languages of targeted groups, as well as knowledgeable about the unique features of their cultures. The mobile clinic will be transported by a van and will be comprised of three tents made of rainproof materials.

One room will be equipped for the provision of GP consults and examinations; another room will provide nursing services and health promotion, and the third tent-room will serve for research purposes and data collection in the form of questionnaires and interviews. The staff traveling with the clinic will include one GP, two primary health practitioners, two or three nurses familiar with the cultural specificity of the target populations, one translator, and a research group whose composition will vary depending on the type of data and the issues in focus.

The Following Topics Relate to the Infrastructure and Procedures Needed for Your Service

  • Type of venue
    • The proposed venue is a mobile primary care clinic.
  • Funding source(s)
    • Private sponsorship from organizations and individual donations will start the venue, and in the case of its success, the sponsorship from research facilities using the data collection services, as well as state funding will be requested.
  • Number of staff and their profession
    • The unit will include 7 to 8 medical professionals plus a research group whose size and composition may vary but may not exceed more than 3 people.
  • Relevant accreditation of the staff and service etc
    • The unit will include volunteering medical students (nursing, GP, and primary care) or volunteering practitioners of the same specialties. The accreditation of the staff may vary from undergraduate to master level.
  • Provider payment type. Explain the reason for your choice in 1 sentence.
    • The volunteers will not be paid but will be provided with resources and equipment necessary for their work; for the volunteering students, hands-on practice will be a form of payment.
  • Will those seeking your service be referred to as patients, clients, consumers, service seekers, or others? Explain your reasoning in 1 sentence.
    • The people seeking the service of the Accessible Care Mobile Unit will be referred to as service recipients since the provided services will be delivered for free.
  • Will the users of your service be expected to pay the full cost of the service, a co-payment (what amount), or will the service be free to all or some of your clients? Explain your reasoning in 1sentence.
    • The service will be free to all the recipients, the unit will not provide complex and expensive procedures but instead will refer the seekers of such services to the respective medical facilities
  • Will there be a consumer representative on your board? Explain your reasoning in 1 sentence.
    • A consumer representative will be a desired member of the board and staff; however, in case if such person is unavailable, their tasks will be fulfilled by the culturally sensitive nurses and the translator.
  • How will you measure the success of your service? Explain this in one sentence.
    • The first indicator of the success of the service will be the minimization of health risks in the targeted population; the second – the completed data collection missions driving medical research targeting the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations.

Conclusion: Brief Summation

The proposed mobile care unit will target underserved areas populated with indigenous people providing necessary types of primary care. Also, it will accomplish health promotion and collect health-related data for medical research. These activities will help tackle some of the risk factors and conditions experienced by the target population and move forward research exploring its specific health needs.

References

Australian Bureau of Statistics, (2017). . Web.

Australian Human Rights Commission. (n.d.). . Web.

Caffery, L. G., Bradford, N. K., Wickramasinghe, S. I., Hayman, N., & Smith A. C. (2017). Outcomes of using telehealth for the provision of healthcare to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people: A systematic review. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 41(1), 48-53.

Equity of access for all Australians. (2016). Web.

. (n.d.). Web.

Health performance framework 2014 report. (n.d.). Web.

Kabene, S. (2010). Healthcare and the effect of technology: Developments, challenges and advancements: developments, challenges and advancements. Hershey, PA: IGI Global.

Markwick, A., Ansari, Z., Sullivan, M., Parsons, L., & McNeil, J. (2014). Inequalities in the social determinants of health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People: A cross-sectional population-based study in the Australian state of Victoria. International Journal for Equity in Health, 13(91), 1-12.

. (2017). Web.

(2016). Web.

Summary of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health. (2016). Web.

van Gaans, D., D’Onise, S., Taylor, K., & McDermott, R. (2016). Managing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander data for public health research. Online Journal for Public Health Informatics, 8(3), e202.

(n.d.). Web.

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IvyPanda. "Health Service for Australian Indigenous Population." November 11, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/health-service-for-australian-indigenous-population/.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Health Service for Australian Indigenous Population." November 11, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/health-service-for-australian-indigenous-population/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Health Service for Australian Indigenous Population'. 11 November.

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