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Health Condition of Aboriginal People


 Choose ONE of the questions offered for Deconstruction which will be posted on FLO 

Deconstruct the question in order to demonstrate your understanding of the social determinants of Indigenous health.  ‘Deconstruction’ is a process that involves unpacking something.  In this case, the very question becomes the focus, rather than any answer.  We are interested in assisting you to critique the worldviews, philosophical positions, understandings and assumptions underpinning particular responses to Indigenous health issues.   A critical analysis of the question must build a cogent argument that examines the position from which the question was asked.  The sociological, cultural studies and critical theory literatures might give you some guidance here.  Overall, you are asked to demonstrate an understanding of how the question was formed, with particular regard to the factors that might lead to such framing of the question, as well as the question’s relevance to Aboriginal health outcomes.  Be sure to demonstrate a strong engagement with the weekly readings. 

Some tips:

 Many questions people ask about Aboriginal Australia reveal more about the person asking than the intended subject of enquiry.

  For example: 

“If we come from Adam and Eve then where do black people come from?’ 

• Who is ‘we’?  Is this framing indicative of an ‘us and them’ position of ‘inclusion – exclusion’? 

 • Is the (conscious or unconscious) worldview here related to a Christian-based socialisation process which sees Christianity as ‘normal’ and everything else as peripheral?

 • This appears to be an ‘othering’ question. Who frames ‘the other’? What assumptions are made? • Can a case be made that this is a Eurocentric, ethnocentric, exclusionist position that perpetuates colonial notions of a  ‘God–given dominion’.  

• ‘… black people’  - Does this indicate a dismissal of diversity?  Is there an assumed homogenous explanation for the origins of ‘the other’? 

• Could this question be classified as one that could only be framed by someone who is an unwitting beneficiary of a dominant hegemony (power/control/authority). 

• Could ‘Whiteness theory ‘ be employed to elucidate the invisible ‘structured white privilege’ inherent in such a question? 

• Does this question reveal a lack of understanding as to how Christian stories arrived on these shores: “Your left hand holds a Bible while your right hand holds a gun” (Kev Carmody-‘Thou Shalt Not Steal’) ?

 • What does this question reveal about the persistence of the ‘christianising’/’civilising’ project that gave invasion and colonisation ‘moral’ reinforcement?   



Why don’t Aboriginal people take an interest in their own health?

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are the inhabitants of Australia. Before the colonization of the islands by the British peoples, the Australia was inhabited by the indigenous peoples. They are the oldest people on the earth as compared to other prehistoric societies such as Indo-Americans or the indigenous peoples of Africa (Anderson et al. 2017). These aboriginal peoples are the one who had been able to survive for the longest period of time. Nowadays there are 40,000 of aboriginal people those who are staying in Australia and consist of only 2% of the total Australian population. In this article, there is a brief description of that thinking about the Australian people about their health (Parnell et al. 2017). 

As compared to the other inhabitants of the Australians the people of Aboriginal and Torres Strait suffers from a greater rate of mortality. On an average, the people of the Aborigine and Torres Strait Island are expected to have 12 years lesser than the people other non-indigenous peoples (Greenwood et al., 2015). The aboriginals have a history of suffering from high rates of chronic disease. Among all of the chronic diseases cardiovascular disease is the only which is the main cause of death among the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, diabetes is also causing an epidemic on a higher level, along with these the people are also suffering from the chronic disease of the kidney. Altogether these chronic diseases lead up to 50% of the gap in life expectancy between the aboriginal people and other Australian people ( 2018).

Conditions of health in the aboriginal people

Particularly the people of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island are more admitted to the hospital as compared to non-indigenous people. The reason behind this is the aboriginal people mainly avoid accessing the proper primary health care. It was found that about 2.3% of the People of Australia is identified as is identified as aboriginal peoples (Burgess et al. 2009). Among the Australian practitioner, only 1.6 percent of the general practitioner was dealing with the aboriginal peoples. In remote areas, the people of the communities are in lack of proper health care services (, 2018).  This explains the less use of services of healthcare by the aboriginal peoples which lead to a higher mortality rate. During a recent study, it is suggested that there are various types of models which can help in increasing the access of the remote communities to primary services of health care, but this has not been implemented or assessed (Wilson et al. 2015). Aboriginal peoples those who are living in urban areas are also being neglected when they need the appropriate Healthcare services. According to the survey, it has been seen that almost 30% of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people staying in urban places also experience some problems to access services of Healthcare also there is ten percent of people who are unable to visit a practitioner whenever they need it (, 2018). A number of studies show that management of chronic disease in rural areas is facing a gap in between the people of Aboriginal Island and non-indigenous people. It is also known that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are not aware of using the preventative Healthcare services education as compared to the non-indigenous people living in Australia. However preventive social insurance, together with early medication when indications do emerge, is accepted to be the best method for staying away from hospitalization and decreasing death rates (Parker and Milroy 2014). 

Status of the health of the indigenous people in Australia 

Management of health status of indigenous peoples in Australia is a very big problem for the Australian government to maintain. The gap in the health status between indigenous and non-indigenous people is too much big and it is identified that the United Nations committee is must acknowledge the issues of healthcare affiliated by the Australian government (Ring and Brown 2002). Health status of Australian aboriginal peoples is very poor as compared to the rest people of Australia.  There is a large gap of inequality in the country.  Indigenous people did not get an equal opportunity to stay healthy as other Australians who are non-indigenous (, 2018). There is a very small amount of progress for reducing this gap of inequality between the indigenous and non-indigenous people of Australia over the last decade. Although there have been some improvements on the measures to improve the health care services for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, do not match with fast increasing healthcare issues which are going in the indigenous population. Death rate had decreased due to the cardiovascular diseases in general population to 30% whereas in indigenous people there is no sign of the reduction in the death rate which is caused from the cardiovascular diseases (Panaretto et al. 2014). Inequality in the status of health experienced by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is directly linked to the discrimination of the system. This occurs due to the inaccessibility of the main Healthcare services and listens to access to various other services which include Primary Health Care as well as the insufficiency in the infrastructure of health in between some of the communities ( 2018).

Social determinants of health

Theory of social determinants perceives that health of the common people is mainly determined by various types of social factors which are interconnected (Rowley et al., 2008). It is the fundamental part of the laws of human rights as all of them are correlated with each other. Each of the laws has an impact on one another for the benefit of the other. Human rights communication with the common people provides a structure for the analysis of the impacts of health on the indigenous people (Moore et al. 2017). 

Human rights and health of the indigenous people

For reducing this inequality in health right to the proper standard of living which includes food housing and clothing as well as education is provided to the aboriginal people. The Human Rights which are based on this approach to provide Healthcare services contains the following components (Krieg, 2006). It mainly emphasizes on the accountability performance for the socioeconomic results for all the sectors of the society. This is done by treating the outcomes as an important aspect of legal obligation, and these are mainly accessed against the rules which are established through the Human Rights system (Couzos and Thiele 2016). To establish some principles such as the aboriginal people will not be discriminated against society and provided with the equal opportunity. It is highlighted that governments must provide immediate services which will help the aboriginal people to get the healthcare facility without any kind of discrimination (Walter, 2007). It also emphasizes that perfectly improvement with the active participation of the people of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander in critical care. The common understanding of the Human Rights emphasizes that indigenous peoples are the important part of Australia and they must be equally treated in case of Healthcare services (Bailie and Wayte 2006).  The participation of both the government and aboriginal people is very necessary for producing as well as receiving the services. Some strategies must be empowered for encouraging active engagement of the aboriginal people ( 2018).

Evidence of the health impact

Aboriginal Community Health controls the discrimination of Health Services by imposing control over the local services. The various practice of control may be extracted to bring the number of benefits of health or increasing of the Primary Health Care Services in the community (Tervalon and Murray-Garcia 1998). Right to self-determination contains the right of people in which there are free to use their wealth and resources for getting the primary necessities. The indigenous people are most of the time neglected in the society. Inequality, as well as the poverty which they had to experience, is the reflection of the treatment done by the peoples of Australia (Marmot, 2011).  Inequality and health status which they had to face is mainly linked to the discrimination of the system. There is a consistency in the pattern which indicates that the indigenous for the month also the victim of Healthcare assault sexual assault at some point in their life. Also, there is a relationship between valances alcohol or drug abuse poor condition of physical as well as the mental health and higher risk of self-harming ( 2018).


Hence it can be concluded that there must be a balance among the well being of indigenous and on indigenous people at this can be available by the sufficient availability of Healthcare services throughout the people of Australia (Gallaher et al. 2009). The indicators must also focus upon the interconnection between both are indigenous as a lesson on indigenous systems actual result in a reduction of racism, discrimination, the suicide of the youth and disrespect for land and culture. This indicator also helps in the funding of the government for improving the Healthcare status of indigenous people by the help of a different type of programming and services which are mainly developed by the government (Cass et al. 2002).  Development can be done by collecting data about the Healthcare status of the people and representing the perceptions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Thus it is being concluded that all of this services would help in the facilitation of the original people to access the Primary Health Care as well as mainstream Healthcare services whenever they are in need even by staying at their community.

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