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Task Aim: To enable you to critically analyse the impact of history and colonisation on contemporary First Peoples’ health outcomes and how this influences trustful and respectful relationships with Australia’s First Peoples.
Part A: Critically analyse the impact of history and colonisation on contemporary First Peoples’ health outcomes and how this has influenced Australia’s First Peoples ability to build trustful and respectful relationships within the healthcare system
Part B: Identify and discuss strengths based approaches that a health practitioner might use to build trustful and respectful relationships with First Peoples, on an individual and/or community basis
Your level of critical analysis will be marked using a scale adapted from Patricia Benner’s ‘From Novice to expert’ (Benner, 1982), outlined in the scale below. To analyse is to “identify all the components and the relationship between them”. To ‘critically analyse’ is to “provide a level of depth, accuracy, knowledge, questioning, reflection and quality to your analysis (Benner, 1982).
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The health outcomes of individuals in the society include determinant like colonization and other major processes in the world. Concerning the marginalization of the native peoples in Australia, health problems came up that have had an effect on the political, economic, and social marginalization that are kept within persons, and collectively this can have major detrimental effects on an entire community (Aboriginal Heritage, 2016). Historically, the colonization of indigenous Australians resulted to a change in many aspects of their lives including the health outcomes. The paper seeks to answer the health question of these people.
The colonization of Australia happened in 1788 when a crew of about 1500 British arrived in Sydney Cove. The population of the indigenous communities comprised of about 500 nations and about 750000 people declined by about 90 percent between 1788 and 1900. Thus, among the reasons that lead to this decline include the acquisition of land by settlers, disease introduction by the settlers, and the violent conflict of the indigenous had with the colonizers (Australians Together, 2016b).
It is reported that about 50 percent of the native population in Sydney was wiped out by smallpox in about fourteen months of the arrival of the settlers. This means that the greatest problem that came with colonization in Australia was the issue of epidemics which was spreading ahead of the colonizing frontiers. The health consequences included smallpox, influencer, and measles. There was the problem of sexually transmitted infections that were introduced to the indigenous population at an endemic rate as a result of sexual abuse and exploitation of the women and girls of the indigenous population (Australians Together, 2016a). Other problems include mental illnesses, psychological problems, and physical injuries that are all part of the health of the native population. In this regard, the colonization era became very detrimental to the indigenous population (Vass, Mitchell & Dhurrkay, 2011).
According to Austrarians Together (2016b) by the 19th century, the population of the indigenous people had dropped drastically resulting in a rise in their cost of survival as they lost their culture, land, family, language, and independence because of the protection policy. Therefore, due to the protection policy era, the indigenous people were denied control in an aspect of their life ranging from work, where they go, when, and who to marry to the issue of medical attention. The British created reserves in the name of protecting the indigenous population from violence but in the real sense, they were taking over their land and controlling them. It resulted in the extreme poverty of the native people and this reflected in their nutrition and health (Austrarians Together, 2016a). This deprivation of resources is the cause of the present-day poverty level of the indigenous people, and it is affecting their ability to access good quality medical service. They are also not able to handle nutritional complications besides taking care of the old.
In 1937, the policy of protectionism gave way to yet another policy of assimilation. According to the policy, the indigenous population was expected to live like, and become like the settlers. However, this was not possible because of the discriminatory policy that was still affecting most of the indigenous people. The discrimination included unequal treatment by authorities with policies still controlling various aspects of the lives of their lives, restriction to equal wage and conditions of employment, and discrimination in access to social benefits that include health services that other non-indigenous Australians receive. These discriminatory issues were only lifted in 1969 with new legislation (NACCHO, 2014).
The long history of the Aboriginal and other indigenous people is soon painful and has great suffering that it becomes tough to establish a good relationship with the non-indigenous population. The policies that have been implemented over time in Australia created a rift that is had to mend (Sydney Barani, 2013). The indigenous individuals have been discriminated since colonization and that feeling alone that you are being discriminated in your home, will continue to hinder good relationship in all aspect of living including healthcare.
These individuals have been discriminated for a long time, and it became a norm that they are not equal. That feeling of inferiority complex will make them submissive and aggressive for a long time to come. The protectionism policy created a major rift that segregated the indigenous community, and this deprived them of wealth that is a primary ingredient in the health sector. They were deprived of basic human rights, and these communities are still feeling the impact of this deprivation to date.
The improvement of the indigenous population’s health is still a challenge today as a result of these historical injustices. The gap in health between the native people and the settlers is still overly broad, where the indigenous are too poor compared to the rest. They lack equal opportunity to be healthy as the remainder of the Australians with many risks. The improvements made on the health of the natives are small and cannot match that of the general population and with the state of their young this inequalities will increase in the coming years. All this is linked to the discrimination they have faced over time, and this is eating into the present health system, where among other things they lack adequate health and physical infrastructure in these communities (Dick, 2007). The human right violation has created a major problem in their ability to build a trustful relationship that is respectful in the health system.
Various strength-based approaches can be used to ensure that there is trust and respect when relating with the indigenous people. The strength approach is to develop the natural abilities and capabilities of the client. Firstly, let look at the traditional deficit-focused approach where the problems, deficits, diseases of the people are the key focus before a solution is offered. The specialist is then to design a solution to this issue to ensure that the client has a solution (Toros, 2013). Therefore, the diagnosis and design of the solution will make sure that trust is developed through the use of a proper language and understanding the situation of the client (Spalding, 2013).
The strength-based approaches include solution focused therapy. It centers on what is to be accomplished instead of the problem. It encourages focusing on developing their solutions and pathways while they are being supported to achieve their set goals. It is focused on life without the problem for the client. Secondly, is strength-based case management, where individual strength is focused on together with the use of informal networks; assertive involvement by the community; and focus on client manager relationship. This approach is critical in the development of a trusting and respectable relationship and can be employed in both community and individuals (Vass, Mitchell & Dhurrkay, 2011). Thirdly, are the family support services; this is where preventative services will be provided to the families before difficulties that are a major issue with the indigenous population get out of hand to ensure child protection (IRISS, 2012).
The colonization and the various follow-up policies had a major effect on the indigenous people of Australia. The marginalization that resulted from this has had a significant impact on issues of health of this people. Therefore, it is important that besides recognition, the government of Australia invests more to help these people acquire quality health services.
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