Improving the status of health of indigenous people in Australia is an enduring challenge for the government. The vast gap in health status between Aboriginals and non-indigenous has been regarded as human rights by the United Nations committee. The high difference is due to unequal access to key health care and the low standard of health infrastructure in indigenous society as compared to some Australians. Historically, the issue of health inequality endured by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders is a result of systematic discrimination (Durey, 2010). Over the years this group of people has not received equal opportunity to be as healthy as the non-indigenous people. This occurs due to the inaccessibility of mainstream services and little access to health services like important health care (Abbot et al., 2010).
Therefore, there is a high mortality rate impact on today’s health of the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations. This is a result of the high increase in the cost of medical expenditure in Australia leading to a high mortality rate among the people (Donato and Segal, 2013). The massive increase in the cost of medicine has resulted in decreased population due to a high number of deaths.
One of the approaches that have been adopted is a human rights-based approach to promote the issue of health regarding the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait. This approach has over the years demonstrated a connection between people’s health and rights. It has also created an empowering surrounding for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population whereby it focuses more on the accountability of the governments to accomplish improved outcomes within a stipulated time. The focus of the framework is to address the challenges facing the current system (Marmot, M., & Wilkinson, 2006). Furthermore, the approach seeks to create and build the opportunities that have emerged as a result of recently introduced transformations in federal governments concerning how to minimize death-related aspects of the population and instead improve their health status. Even though this approach has not worked, most of its objectives are underway to be implemented by the government to ensure the health status of Australian Aboriginals and Torres are well taken care of in the country (Durey, 2010).
Another approach is interdisciplinary, which involves one of the ways to address the multifaceted and intertwined factors concerning health. Therefore, this method integrates those insulated disciplines into a single consultation, in that the patient who is present is involved and has a better understanding and holistic perspective of all facets of the patient’s care issues (Chung et al., 2010). Concerning the health outcomes, mostly of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals, an interdisciplinary approach has allowed for those wider and overlooked causes of health to be acknowledged by professionals and patients. The approach is in progress, so not much has been achieved by the approach. (Durey, 2010)
The strength-based approach involves the use of skills, and values to address the future requirements of the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait population. This method entails mobilization of communities and people within, as per their strength and priorities which will encourage individual involvement with health-protective mechanisms that will assist in health sustenance and minimize the high death rate among the population. However, further nutritional analysis of the traditional food consumed by the population will empower the society on the kind of nutrition they need to practice to reduce some health-related diseases related to improper eating habits (Chung et al., 2010).
Regarding recommendation, there is an emergent recognition of the need to analyze disciplinary sales that have been created in isolation from one another by a biomedical framework that dominates Australian health care. Also, it is clearer that historical factors and political and social factors are the determinants of health. For that reason, an interdisciplinary conceptualization of health approaches and services in various places of Australia needs to be spread. Lastly, a holistic approach that mainly focuses on addressing health challenges should be encouraged, and also some plans can be found in a way that healthy communities are established, and the well-being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are improved in society. Also, the existing health policies and framework are supposed to be interrogated from a wider perspective so that it elaborates on the causes and experiences of diseases as well as their constant challenges.
- Abbott, P., Davidson, J., Moore, L., & Rubinstein, R. (2010). Barriers and enhancers to dietary Behavior change for Aboriginal people attending a diabetes cooking course. Health Promotion Journal of Australia, 21(1), 33-38.
- Chung, R. J., Burke, P. J., & Goodman, E. (2010). Firm foundations: strength-based approaches to adolescent chronic disease. Current Opinion in Pediatrics, 22, 389-397.
- Donato, R. & Segal, L. (2013). Does Australia have the appropriate health reform agenda to close the gap in Indigenous health? Australian health review: a publication of the Australian Hospital Association, 37, 232.
- Durey, A. (2010). Reducing racism in Aboriginal health care in Australia: where does cultural Education fit? Australian and New Zealand. Journal of public health, 34(1) P 8-12.
- Marmot, M., & Wilkinson, R. (2006). Social Determinants of Health (2nd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.