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OORA200 Impact of Closing the Gap: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Assessment Answer

Case Study Report - 

Word Count:

OORA200 – 2500 words

Relates to Learning Outcomes (LO) and Graduate Attributes (GA) LO: 1-6; GA: 1-7

OORA400 – 3000 words

Relates to Learning Outcomes (LO) and Graduate Attributes (GA) LO: 1-6; GA: 1-8
Assignment: Case study report: evaluating the impact of Closing the Gap

Using the material provided in the Resource Bibliography, write a case study report describing a project or projects that have attempted to address the Closing the Gap targets in ONE of the following areas:

  • Community Development
  • Education
  • Health
  • Imprisonment and Youth Justice* or
  • Employment

(* Please note that there have not been specific Closing the Gaps targets directed towards high incarceration rates before 2019).

You are not limited to using these resources, but if you do use alternatives, please ensure that they are credible sources, either academic or Government publications.

Assignment Structure

Your assignment must include the following components:

Title page: (not included in word count)

The title page should contain: name, student number, unit title/number, question title/name, due date, unit coordinator, and word count. 

Abstract: (approx. 150 words)
See https://aso-resources.une.edu.au/assignment-types/writing-an-abstract/ 
 

Table of contents: (not included in word count)

See https://support.microsoft.com/en-au/help/285059/use-style-separators-with-heading-style-to-generate-a-toc 

Introduction: (approx. 250 words)

  • Provide a brief summary of the Closing the Gap Policy
  • Provide an overview of the case study or studies you have selected as examples.

    Body of the Work: (approx. 1700 words- OORA200); (approx. 2200 words - OORA400)

Identify successes of program(s):

  • Summarise the successes (including the evidence and causes), from major to minor, in your own words.
  • Give reasons for successes using academic literature to support your arguments.

Identification of problems of program(s):

  • Summarise the problems (including the evidence and causes), from major to minor, in your own words.
  • Give reasons as to why problems have occurred using academic literature to support your arguments.

Solutions to identified problems. What could improve the program?:

  • Provide rational and reasonable solutions to the problems you have identified in the case.
  • Evaluate each solution in terms of its advantages and disadvantages.

Conclusion: (approx. 250 words)

  • Summarise positives and any negatives of the program.

Recommendations: (approx. 150 words)

  • Outline a minimum of three recommendations based on the solutions for each of the identified problems.
  • Your recommendations should be realistic, practical and achievable, and be supported by relevant theories.

Answer

CASE STUDY REPORT: EVALUATING THE IMPACT OF CLOSING THE GAP


Abstract: 

The assignment focuses on identifying the ways different projects have tried to address the problems faced in Closing the Gap framework implemented by the Australian government to ensure equal treatment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in case of health, education, community engagement and so on. The main focus given in this assignment is towards the health of Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islands under the Closing the Gap target. In order to identify the issues and present suitable solution, a number of cases were identified and analysed in relation to Closing the Gap framework. The main issues identified are related with racism from the white Australians towards the Aboriginals and the lack of focus towards improving mental health wellness. It shows that staffs who need to have good training about the aboriginal culture does not have the proper understanding which leads to such issues. Therefore, the main solutions that are identified are mainly related with staff training and developing a good co-ordination between housing program with other programs like education and community engagement to improve the health condition of aboriginals. 

Introduction:

Closing the gap is one of the governmental policies which is associated with reducing the disadvantages among the Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal people regarding the expectancy of life, access to the childhood education, outcome of the employment and achievement of the education. Closing the gap policy is one of the approaches of the approach of the Australian government for eliminating the gap among the indigenous and non-indigenous Australians. Closing the difference is one of the social justice campaigns that were launched in the year 2007, which have the targets in closing the gaps in the life expectancy by 2031. This case study report is intended to evaluate the impact of closing the gap in the areas of health. By considering the effects of CTG policy on the health, it can be said that the policy is associated with increasing the health outcomes and the life expectancy among the non-indigenous and indigenous Australians. 

This policy is involved in arranging primary health care and mainstream health care opportunity. The current government of Australia has come to know that some social determinants have an impact on health. The government has understood that housing and the infrastructure are the major environmental factors which affect the health of people. Insufficient or the poor maintained house and absence of the ineffectively functioning infrastructure can cause severe health risks. Due to the purposes, the department of health in Australia has developed a partnership with the department of aboriginal affairs so that they can deliver the housing projects to the indigenous community. 

Discussion:

Identifying the success of the program:

CTG policy has become successful because the government has started to offer need-based and targeted primary health care so that it can closing the gaps in the unacceptable health disparities among the Torres islander and aboriginal people and the non-aboriginal people. The rate of death and the preventable hospital admission is very high among the Torres islander and aboriginal people (Mayo et al. 2018). CTG policy can help offer proper healthcare facilities to the indigenous people so that the rate of death can be reduced among them. CTG policy has also become successful in culturally appropriate as well as safe health facilities to the aboriginal people. With the help of the policy, the budget has been allocated by the Australian health care system so that it can establish an indigenous health authority for overseeing the delivery of the health services. Budgets are also allocated in offering the cultural safety training among the health professions so that they can provide a better health care facility to the indigenous people. The Australian government has countered that housing is one of the social determinants of health. Therefore, unhealthy and overcrowded housing can be one of the major factors for poor health. The example of a disease that is generally created by unhealthy housing is rheumatic heart disease (Green & Minchin, 2014). CTG campaign has become successful because the government of Australia has decided to expand and reinstate the housing for the health program in helping the indigenous people. CTG policy helps provide the interim national partnership agreements on the remote indigenous house in offering resources to those who have a critical need for housing while the negotiation process of formal partnership is associated with determining the housing plan that is long-term in nature for supporting indigenous health (Hayes et al. 2015). The main reason behind offering the housing to the indigenous people are providing safety to the people and forming healthy living practices (such as washing clothes, reducing overcrowding, removing the waste related security, washing the bedding and clothes and improving nutrition (NSW Department of Health, 2010). The benefits of the CTG programs are reducing the rate of infectious diseases along with the long term chronic diseases. 

CTG policy developed by the government has become successful because the government has become successful in identifying the relevant factors that are causing the gaps among indigenous and non-indigenous people in accessing the healthcare services (NSW Department of Health, 2010). Therefore, from the fact mentioned above, it can be said that the main arguments of the study are the government has a practical focus in offering people healthcare services to the indigenous people (Fogarty et al. 2018a). Government has developed an active department with the help of which government can correctly identify the actual need of the aboriginal people. Moreover, the government has a good focus towards the cultural sensitivity so that the government has arranged a culturally sensitive healthcare service for the indigenous people that can help the indigenous people in feeling comfortable while receiving healthcare services. 

Along with that, the government has identified different social determinants that can create an impact on the health of the indigenous people. This factor is also one of the reasons for which the CTG policy have become successful. Therefore, the focuses of the government in identifying the social determinant of health is the main reason behind the success of the policy (Raval & Doupnik, 2017). Government has a useful focus towards developing healthier and stronger communities by involving the indigenous people in developing the housing, which increases the employability among the indigenous community. This fact is highly effective for the indigenous people in getting sufficient money to improve their lifestyle and availing the health-related services to the aboriginal people.

Identifying the problem of the program:

According to the Australian medical association, CTG policy has a good focuses in closing the gap among the non-indigenous and indigenous people, but it has become unravelled. According to the doctor bodies, CTG policy has some failure in [providing the need-based and the equitable findings that have created a breakdown of the CTG policy. The government do not have enough focuses on addressing the mental health gaps, which has increased the tendency of suicide among the indigenous people. 

Institutional racism in healthcare organisations is the main reason behind the problems that are faced by the CTG policy in achieving their aim in closing the gap. Moreover, in some extents, the government also have some ineffective focuses in allocating the resources based on the identified needs, which have created a failure of the CTG policy (Fogarty et al. 2018b). The Australian government has hired a committee for monitoring the activity of the policy so that it can successfully achieve its aim. Racism among the members of the committee can create issues for CTG policy in achieving success. 

The main reason behind the lack of focuses of the government in addressing the mental health is the government has only focused on the wellbeing of the physical health for indigenous people, but they do not have an effective focuses on their mental wellness (Fisher et al. 2016). Moreover, the government do not have focused on addressing the growing number of mental health, which has increased the issues.

During developing housing of health, the health sector of Australia can face issues. This is because; the number of the aboriginal population is increasing over the ten year study period (as budget is allocated for the 10-year study). During this time, the limited budget is allocated to offer housing services to the indigenous people as the budget allocation is made by considering the number of indigenous people during the distribution of budget (NSW Department of Health, 2010). Therefore, due to the increasing number of indigenous people, the project to offer a home for offering health and safety to the indigenous people may be suffered.

Housing for health (under CTG policy) is one of the targeted maintenance and repair programs so that it can improve indigenous health. However, it is one of the plans with the limited budget, which only involves the maintenance and repair so that it can offer practical and immediate health benefits. Due to the limitation in the budget, the housing for health project does not include the offering of aesthetic work (for example, painting) along with the other types of improvements such as fencing or guttering (NSW Department of Health, 2010). The other types of facilities are mainly carried out by other housing funding program for aboriginal people. In that case, the exact data are not available to the indigenous housing funding committee with the help of which they can recognise the house in which work has been done. Due to the reason, the maintenance activities can be carried out in the same house for more than ten years. This fact can reduce the chances for other people in getting repair and maintenance services. 

Additionally, the impact of another program (aboriginal housing funding programs) may be unsuccessful, which may reduce the efficiencies of the entire CTG program. The main reason behind the unsuccessfulness is reduced rate of the crossovers among the programs. Another reason for this failure is works that are carried out under the other program may not create a health-related outcome.

Solutions to the identified problem:

For resolving the issues as mentioned earlier, the below-mentioned solution can be implemented:

Investment of massive money in staff training:

Racism among the non-indigenous staff associated with monitoring the success rate of the CTG policy can lower the success rate of the CTG policy. For resolving the issues, it is essential for the government of Australia in offering excellent training to the staff. In this training, providing a piece of better knowledge about cultural sensitivity, a history of the indigenous people and the need to protect the indigenous people is necessary. This is because offering this knowledge can increase the cultural sensitivity among the staff. For this purposes, the government should hire an excellent trainer and invest sufficient amount of money so that the staff (monitoring team of CTG policy) can be adequately trained. 

Along with this training, criteria need to be developed during hiring the staff (the criteria must include that the staff of the monitoring team must discourage the discrimination among indigenous and non-indigenous people) for monitoring the success rate of CTG policy so that it can reduce the racism.  

Increasing coordination among the housing for health and another program: 

It has been observed that the coordination among the house for a health program and the other program (that are involved for offering to the house to the aboriginal people for their better health) is less which decreases the success rate of the housing for health project. For resolving the issues, it is always necessary for the Australian government in improving the coordination among the different program and the house for health so that it can help offer an excellent housing facility to the aboriginal people to secure their health.

Increasing the documentation in the CTG policy to increase the success rate in the housing for health project:

It is observed that for offering better housing to the indigenous people, the Australian government does not follow useful documentation which reduces the rate of success for the CTG policy. This so because, lack of proper documentation involves the member of housing for a health program and another program in offering housing facilities to the same house for multiple times, whereas, some people do not get the services at all. Due to the purposes, the government need to develop a manual and written document after offering housing services to a particular person. Along with that, arranging a database is also necessary so that data after providing services to an individual can be stored and then it can be accessed with efficiencies.

Arranging facilities for improving the mental health of the aboriginal people:

The government do not have any useful focuses on addressing the mental health of the indigenous people, which increases the suicidal tendency among them. For this purpose, it is essential for the government in developing proper specialised healthcare facilities to improve the mental health of indigenous people. 

Conclusions:

The above discussion has concluded the fact that CTG policy is highly effective in improving the lifestyle of the indigenous people. CTG policy closes the gap among indigenous and non-indigenous people and helps the indigenous people in receiving services like non-indigenous people who improve their education, health and employment. CTG policy is highly influential in developing the culturally sensitive healthcare policy for the aboriginal people that have made them in receiving healthcare facilities more comfortably. Moreover, CTG policy is also helpful for the indigenous people in obtaining decent housing for them that has increased their health-related outcome. The adequate housing facilities is highly effective for indigenous people in improving their safety and security that has reduced the death rate, and the increased the child mortality rate.

However, some people are there who have demonstrated the fact that CTG policy is unsuccessful in satisfying the need of the indigenous people. The government has become ineffective in identifying the deteriorating mental health condition among the aboriginal people. It is observed that racism among the non-indigenous staff has reduced the efficiencies of the CTG policy. Along with that, it is also observed that during developing CTG policy, proper planning has not been developed which increases the rate of unsuccessfulness of the policy. Government has allocated the limited budget for the development of the indigenous people which increases issues in offering better facilities to the indigenous people. This is because; the government has not encountered different dynamic factors of the budget allocation such as increasing populations.

Recommendations:

Government need to include the mental health development approach by involving the staff in the healthcare organisation that would be associated with identifying the mental health issues and initiating counselling for the health issues so that it can be helpful in reducing the suicidal tendency among the aboriginal people. For offering an effective health measure, it is always necessary for the Australian government in developing better planning to offer an effective healthcare policy. This is because; lack of planning always increases the rate of unsuccessfulness. The Australian government can hire a committee who will be associated with developing planning to offer proper services to the indigenous people. During the development of planning, it is always important for the government in identifying different dynamic factors that create an impact on the allocation of the budget. Identifying the dynamic factors can be helpful for the government in offering proper services by allocating the appropriate budget on a long-time basis.

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