Australia is one of the world's most culturally diverse societies and it is commonly assumed that the country offers free and fair opportunities to all its inhabitants. However, on close observation it is clearly evident that the country's indigenous population is at a social and economic disadvantage when compared to their non-indigenous counterparts and as a consequence the present aboriginal health is in a grave situation. The purpose of this report is to critically analyze the effect of the Australian assimilation policy on the current health status of the aboriginals through various factors such as education, unemployment and housing.
[...] The health of aboriginals needs to be improved and a nurse would play an important role in doing so. However, they need to be aware of their own prejudices and prevent these from interfering in the delivery of health care. Care should be taken to preserve the cultural identity of the aboriginals intact. Culturally safe treatment of the health problems of the aboriginals would facilitate improving their health status drastically. List of References: Aboriginal Drug and Alcohol Council 2008, Aboriginal Drug and Alcohol Council, viewed 20 April 2008, < http://www.adac.org.au/projects.php?projectStatus=pas>. [...]
[...] The policy of assimilation and the events after that have had a serious impact on the mental, physical and social health of the aboriginals. Aboriginal health has been one of the major problems faced by Australian governments and it has reached a stage where it can't be ignored. The medical fraternity especially the health workers and the registered nurses should now assume a significant role in the treatment and welfare of the aboriginals. It has always been the requisite of a nurse to offer culturally safe nursing care. [...]
[...] The present unemployment scenario can be attributed to a multitude of reasons: Lack of Education No employment opportunities in the agriculture and primary industries Reluctance of other sectors of the population to employ aboriginals (Bailie 2008). The low level of educational qualifications in the aboriginals has been discussed earlier. This lack of education is a major contributing factor to the high levels of unemployment. Even if employed the aboriginals are offered only low paid menial jobs as they are unskilled. [...]
[...] The intent of the assimilation policy and its consequences on the aboriginal race were clearly comprehended by me. This helped me in understanding and analyzing the social and economic disadvantage that the aborigines are at present in addition to their current health status. I was able to relate the poor health status of the aborigines and the various socio economic indicators such as lack of education, unemployment, low income and inadequate housing conditions. I could understand how inadequate educational qualification and health status were directly linked and also the various reasons that plague the aboriginals in the employment market. [...]
[...] However, the assimilation polices have had a direct impact on these factors thus affecting the health of the aboriginals. Aboriginals have been plagued by unemployment and low income problems right from the time of colonization and assimilation. They were either involved in menial jobs or lived on rations provided by the government (Encarta 2008 p.4). Many aboriginals found themselves without work when the ranches they worked for were divided into smaller ones (Encarta 2008 p.5). It has been estimated that 25% of the aboriginal males and 20% of the females are unemployed which is more than double the unemployment ratios of the non indigenous population (Bailie 2008). [...]
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