Aboriginal Health Care Issues

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Introduction This report identifies the challenges faced by the modern health professional in understanding the complexities of providing culturally competent Aboriginal health and rehabilitation care within the Australian primary health care system. Understanding the true complexity of the past impacts of colonialism, the political process and community prejudice effects on the Indigenous health status cannot truly be understood by the western world and health care professionals. This report however, intends to inspire health care professionals to understand the development of cultural competency standards by health industry bodies and actively engage in cross-cultural interactions to develop higher level of skills in their community and practice.…show more content…
Many other countries struggled with providing appropriate health care to both indigenous and non-indigenous people. In 1978 within the Australian Indigenous ‘integration era’ the most significant heath meeting occurred, a joint meeting of the World Health Organisation and UNICEF (1978) held at Alma – Ata, the Declaration of Alma-Ata was produced and has become one of the most significant health care documents set a framework for primary health care. Primary health care was defined as, "essential health care based on practical, scientifically sound and socially acceptable methods and technology, made universally accessible to individuals and families in the community” (WHO, 1978). This meeting began the shift toward primary health care which integrated three common approaches to health care; biological approach (links between anatomical structures and physiological processes and health outcomes); biomedical approach (views health and illness in terms of medically defined pathologies); and holistic approach (sees health as a complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity) (Talbot & Verrinder, 2005). Primary health care pathed the way for integrating mixed health care modalities in the treatment of patients, acknowledge the importance of holistic health care and started understanding of cultural…show more content…
Cultural competence is defined as the “ability to interact effectively with people of different cultures and socio-economic backgrounds, particularly in the context of human resources, non-profit organizations, and government agencies whose employees work with persons from different cultural/ethnic backgrounds. It comprises of four components: (a) Awareness of one's own cultural worldview, (b) Attitude towards cultural differences, (c) Knowledge of different cultural practices and worldviews, and (d) Cross-cultural skills”. Developing cultural competence results in an ability to understand, communicate with, and effectively interact with people across cultures (Martin & Vaughn, 2007). Due to historic political control and cultural restrictions on the Indigenous Australia’s, in the past the majority of Indigenous Australians live in low socio-economic conditions and have had little access or ability to gain adequate levels of health and wellbeing services and in some cases due to the remote locations or physiological trauma of past actions. In order for health professionals may need to examine their personal biases and prejudices and understand that it takes time development adequate skills and is a process that

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