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Women's Health Policy: Western Australia

PUBH6001: Health Policy and Advocacy

Assignment: Policy analysis

Learning Outcomes

This assessment addresses the following learning outcomes: 

1. Analyse different theories and approaches to policy agenda setting 

2. Apply knowledge of policy development to a public health policy issue

 3. Analyse issues in contemporary Australian health care policy

 4. Analyse evidence-based policy and knowledge translation issues

Instructions:

 In this Assignment, you will engage in policy analysis. Choose a health policy (either current or past), either at the state or federal level, to analyse in this Assignment (eg, mental health policy, women’s health policy, preventative health policy, men’s health policy, the Northern Territory intervention). The Assignment should be approximately 2,500 words presented in essay form. 

Address the following questions in your Assignment but please do not answer the questions as a series of short answers: 

The Problem and Context

  Describe the current and historical policy context of the problem. 

 What is the problem which the policy seeks to address? What problems are highlighted?

  What problems have been overlooked? Frame of Reference/Dominant Discourse 

 What is the common frame of reference or dominant discourse evidence within this policy? 

 Are certain words and phrases commonly used? 

 Are there any underlying assumptions behind these? Targets, Stakeholders and their Representation

  Who is the target of the policy (the subject of the discourse)?

  Who are the other stakeholders identified in the policy? Describe key institutional structures, agencies and workforce capacity building. 

 How are the subjects of the policy being represented?

  How are different social groups portrayed in this policy and what implications does this have?

  Are there any moral judgement expressed in this representation? Policy process 

 Who were the stakeholders involved in the development of the policy? Who was overlooked? 

 Whose interests were represented in the development of the policy? Which voices were not heard? 

 What were the potential competing interests and power differentials of those involved in the development of the policy?

  What was the motivation for stakeholders in creating this policy?

  Were there any particular windows of opportunity that enabled the development of this policy? Policy Solutions 

 What solutions are put forward to address the problems? What alternative solutions might have been overlooked?

  Are there any social/power/ethical implications of this policy?  

  Consider the implementation of the policy. How effectively do you think the current policy has been implemented? 

 What are the accountability processes for the policy?

  Consider evaluation measures (indicators) and any evaluation which has been undertaken. How effective has the policy proven to be?

*General Assessment Criteria:

  Provides a lucid introduction

  Shows a sophisticated understanding of the key issues 

 Shows the ability to interpret relevant information and literature in relation to your chosen topic

  Demonstrates a capacity to explain and apply relevant concepts

  Shows evidence of reading beyond the key reading 

 Justify any conclusions reached with well-formed arguments not merely assertion

  Provides a conclusion or summary 

 Use of academic writing and presentation and grammar: 

 Complies with normal academic standards of legibility, referencing and bibliographical details (including reference list).

  Is written clearly with accurate spelling, grammar and sentence and paragraph construction

  Appropriate citation and referencing used (using APA style)



Answer

WOMEN’S HEALTH POLICY WESTERN AUSTRALIA

1. The Problem and Context

1.1 Describe the current and historical policy context of the problem.

The present report aims to explore Western Australian Women’s health strategy 2018-2023.

The report also reveals the historical context of policy. It shows the alignment of WA women’s health policy with The National Women’s Health Policy 2010 and The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women’s Health Strategy 2010

The women’s health policy of WA has taken place with align of national women’s health policy and nation aboriginal and Torres strait islander women’s health in year 2010. The national policy of women’s health set in year 2010 for improve women’s health has two objectives: preventive and targeting special condition of health like cause caused in twenty year and to recognize the critical gaps in Social determinants Health area (Sallis, Owen and Fisher, 2015). The social determinants have great impact on women health physical and mentally which involves their life cycles and resources like money and fitness. Many women live very complicated lives and involves complex role in outer and inside the families. This can raise their stress level and abnormal behaviors. The national aboriginal and Torres Strait islander women’s health strategy 2010 express the requirement to involve in strategy, development, implementing and evaluating the health services of aboriginal women. It also focuses on aboriginal women how to overcome from the situation and empower women.

1.2 What is the problem, which the policy seeks to address?

The western Australian Women’s health strategy in year 2013-2017 focus on the betterment and upgrading the health of vulnerable women who are in higher risk in western Australia. It specially addresses the health problems of women of western Australia. 

1.3 What problems are highlighted?

Deaths caused by cardiovascular disease are more in count than any other disease in women. Hence, cardio vascular health problems are main problems is heighten by policy. Other problematic areas highlighted by policy are mental health problem, Sexual, fertile and maternal health, Health issues due to domestic and family violence, Long term illness related to injury and poor access and inequalities to health services. 

1.4 What problems have been overlooked?

The problem of common women is overlooked.

2. Frame of Reference/Dominant Discourse

2.1 What is the common frame of reference or dominant discourse evidence within this policy?

The women’s health is common frame of reference used in this policy. The policy recognizes gender as one of the major key in outcomes in health services of women. Policy address that there is different level of health needs according to their life cycle, social, cultural, psychological and economical. The policy also considers the women at higher risk. Another common reference of this policy is women illness and promotion on health. The policy is based on the collection of effective and aligned research, collection of data, monitoring and evaluating data and exchange of knowledge

2.2 Are certain words and phrases commonly used?

There are few words in WA’s women health policy, which is used commonly. These are gender equality, availability   and access of health service in women diversity, Social and promotional health programs, early interventions and prevention of health issues, Life stages and Partnership in development to support and improved best practice.

2.3 Are there any underlying assumptions behind these?

The underlying assumptions are equality to provide health services to all women. A holistic approach is implemented to develop the health policy. Inclusivity and transparency are other assumptions of health policy. 

3. Targets, Stakeholders and their Representation

3.1 Who is the target of the policy (the subject of the discourse)?

The focus on WA women’s health planning in year 2013-2017 is emphasis on improving by promoting the health of western Australian women especially the vulnerable who are in poor health condition. This planning targets the Australian women to provide them better health benefits in near future. 

3.2 Who are the other stakeholders identified in the policy? Describe key institutional Structures, agencies and workforce capacity building.

Other stakeholders in Women’s health policy are government, policy maker, and external organizations for conducting research, community of Western Australia.

Partnership aim on coordination and communication of service provided among non-government, government and health provider sector for good health service.

Partnership to be encouraged and hold is focus on substantive equality and gender among WA Health, between non-government, government and WA health.

Alliance with coordination and communication of service provided in state, common wealth government and aboriginal and local health services

Rise in primary health providers for economical funding design and women and families health services.

3.3 How are the subjects of the policy being represented?

The subject of policy is reprinted as underprivileged and placed on higher risk matrix.

3.4 How are different social groups portrayed in this policy and what implications does this have?

Different social group of women are portrayed in policy. These groups are women from diverse background like migrant and refugee women, disabled women, underprivileged women and LGBT women.

3.5 Are there any moral judgments expressed in this representation?

There are following moral judgment expressed in women’s health policy.

Equality-Substantive equality is the critical detriment in women health 

Gender Equality- Gender equality aims to recognize challenges faced by men and women due to different types of requirement and hurdles to use of health services.

Holistic Service Provision – It promotes holistic model of health. It assumes that Health improvement are also influenced by the economic, employment, education, transportation, housing finance, gender, age, geographic zone, discrimination, disability. The moral judgment focuses on the Importance of women in the families and promoting on healthy living since childhood. The moral ground is to improve every aspects of good health and its importance for aboriginal women by implementing integrated social model of health. Another moral ground is early interventions and prevention. It promotes to take actions on lessen the incident of ill health by educating the vulnerable risk group. The common issue related to general health condition caused by common factor. An early detection can reduce the risk in early life stage itself. 

Inclusivity is another moral judgment. It believes that The best possibilities come by sharing the knowledge and working as team which involves awareness around the circle, local, region, at national and state level so that the policy design in regard to women are preciously designed to every levels. A higher level of transparency is maintained to develop policy. Best-collected data by special research and examination of services address on different women problem are the pillars of transparency. The policies and program are designed on the areas of services provided to women with major impact on women health. 

4.Policy process

4.1 Who were the stakeholders involved in the development of the policy? Who was overlooked?

The poorer health of aboriginal women in WA in comparison of non-aboriginal women is on top priority because

1.They live in interior, local and rural area

2.Culture and language are diverse 

3.Disabilities in women

4.Disadvantage in social and economical

5.Women categorized as lesbian, bisexual or transgender

However, to give special attention to underprivileged women, the interest of common women has been compromised in health policy. It’s not appropriate to ignore common woman due to better life stage and other social factors. They can be prone to critical health issues, which should be equally addressed 

4.2 Whose interests were represented in the development of the policy? Which voices were not heard?

Aboriginal women-- Aboriginal women diagnosed with double ratio of cervical cancer. And death rate is four times higher due to cancer in ration of non-aboriginal women (Hall, et.al., 2004). The difference in survival life of non-aboriginal and aboriginal women is higher in Western Australia as in comparison with Queensland, northern territory and new south wales.

Women in Local and interior area-- Women living in rural area than metro cities have poor health condition in Australia however they are diagnosed with high ratio of cervical, melanoma and lung cancer (Shahid. et.al., 2009). However, in year 2010, it has seen the higher risk due to certain behaviors in exterior region of women health. It includes intense smoking habit in goldfields and Midwest. It also involves Obesity in region of wheatbelt and great southern and Long-term danger due to drinking habit in Pilbara (Colagiuri, et. al., 2010).

Migrant women- another stakeholders are Women from different cultural and language like newly shifted from one region to another or newly settled. Australia is one of the highest rations of WA abroad born public. Migrant’s refugee women are not in good health and diagnosed higher side of disease than common women.

Women with disabilities-- Women who are figured out disabilities diagnosed with less Pap Smears. Intellectual disable women living at home have less awareness about preventable health. In year 2006, the aboriginal women living in WA with chronic health problem or disability are 56.2% as compared to non-aboriginal women that is 41% (Duckett and Willcox, 2015).

Disadvantage of socially and economically active women-- Women who are not socially and economically active are reported good health status than the women who are socially and economically underprivileged.

lesbian, bisexal or transgender women- The women who are lesbian or transgender are experienced high obesity rate in WA region than other females ratio as they are on fastfood diet more often than other females and less active. In year 2006 survey done on 1000 women in WA shows 3:10 women are smokers (Tolhurst, et.al., 2016). Transgender, gay, bisexual had come across violence and heterosexist harassment in their life more than common women.

The voices of common women are not heard.

4.3 What were the potential competing interests and power differentials of those involved in the development of the policy?

There is no potential competing interest and power differentials. The policy is integrated health service model, which aims to work with collaboration with other frameworks.

4.4 What was the motivation for stakeholders in creating this policy?

The key motivation to develop policy to recognize the social determinants of women health on the guidelines set by the federal government in 2010 National women health policy. 

The key motivation is on the gender recognition and the benefits provided to women from health services.

Another motivation is to promote Health services according to the needs of women as per their life cycle, social, cultural, economical, psychological circumstances.

Another motivation is to pin point Poor health issues with high-risk women to identify  

The motivation to develop policy is clear on promoting health and illness in regard to the response of women.

4.5 Were there any particular windows of opportunity that enabled the development of this policy?

Women play an important part in planning, evaluating and delivery in regard to health services and provide services to all levels. Women and critical stakeholders who take part in decision making on approachability, availability and delivery of health services. The window of opportunity is to establishing the system to ensure health service delivery and evaluation to all women from priority groups.

The idea behind the policy to bring substantive and gender equality for health benefits in lives of women. The policy, program and service design in this process are not discriminated and the benefits among women from all social class.

5. Policy Solutions

5.1 What solutions are put forward to address the problems? What alternative solutions Might have been overlooked?

Following solutions are put forward-

The development of health policy, which include best practice and involvement to provide preventive care and the benefits of improvement in women health

To distribute Information from health services to women and their families, community, circulate policy, program and services.

To collect reliable data on sex which indicates the major areas to be aimed like family and domestic violence

To Evaluate implementation of health policy and information on planning of services

5.2 Are there any social/power/ethical implications of this policy?

There are rising health issues in women of WA. They statistics prove the notions. In 2005, the mental health problem is as double. In 2004, the mental health prediction was rated higher than cancer as one of the major disease in women in WA by 2005 (Larson, et.al., 2007). In 2006-2010, the ratio of women hospitalized were more than men 16 in western Australia in concern to psychiatric disorders and in year 2001-2010 the ratio of psychiatric disorders for aboriginal women are higher to non-aboriginal women 16 by 1.7 times. The costing of psychiatric disorders was on higher side than mental health disorder. In past years the cost of perinatal depression estimated as $433.52 million 20 as total national cost. A study has shown psychiatric sickness is major issue of maternal death 19 in Australia. In year 2008-2009 the report of domestic violence on women was 72% reported injuries in WA Health Hospitals, which in year 2009-2010 rose to 73.5%. In year 2009-10 the registration in hospital was higher especially in local area, Kimberley was the highest among them in regard to women domestic violence (Fredericks, Adams and Best, 2014). Ratio of 1:5 has conferred sexual violence in their lifetime. Most of the occurred incidents are by the known person or at home.

Hence, policy doesn’t involve any ethical/social or power dilemma. 

5.3 Consider the implementation of the policy. How effectively do you think the current policy has been implemented?

Various health frameworks, other national policies, back up WA health policy and actions plan. The integrated approach aims to achieve longer, healthier and better life for WA women. The policy is linked to primary health care services and chronic condition self-management strategic framework. The aims, objectives and priorities are similar in all these frameworks and policies. I believe that current policy is very effective.

5.4 What are the accountability processes for the policy?

The accountability process of policy is evaluation of initial performance indicator. WA Minister of health and Director genial endorse the policy. A leadership group has been developed which include members of health representatives and senior staff from western Australia health services. The leadership group is responsible to evaluate and monitor the performance of health policy.

5.5 Consider evaluation measures (indicators) and any evaluation, which has been undertaken.

There are many performance indicators, which shows the effective implementation of current policy. These performance indicators are given below

Partnership performance indicators- huge number of major partnership developed for improving women’s health like prevention of health issues as well as achievement of gender equality. The grown number of health activates to address health issues of women. Another indicator is successful amount of funding promotes for the health services regards to women.

Performance Indicators (involvement of women)- The active participation of women in upcoming and existing policies, decision-making, and designing services is proof of effective implementation of policy.

Leadership performance indicator- Creation of group, which involves members from, experienced staff working for WA health and employees from health service background. It shows the leadership in the development and implementation of women health policy.

Performance Indicators (research)

Information for Policy Development in WA Health comes from the number of gender collection and analysis of data, which prove the soundness of policy.

Analysis of gender based on the information about policy and program development is based on the number of evaluation activities. 

5.6 How effective has the policy proven to be?

An action plan was developed and outcomes are measured. Plan is reviewed at the end of year and compare with established standards. It has been observed the considerable improvement in women’s health in Western Australia.



















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