Essay on Health Care Inequities for Aboriginal Women

1782 Words 8 Pages
Health care inequities for Aboriginal women
There are 1.1 million Aboriginal peoples living in Canada as of 1996 and 408,100 of them are women (Statistics Canada, 2000; Dion Stout et al, 2001). More than half live in urban centres and two thirds of those reside in Western Canada (Hanselmann, 2001). Vancouver is comprised of 28,000 Aboriginal people representing 7% of the population (Joseph, 1999). Of this total population, 70% live in Vancouver’s poorest neighbourhood which is the Downtown Eastside (DTES).
Health care inequities can be elucidated by the research that identifies the social, economic and political ideologies that reflect aspects of cultural safety (Crandon, 1986; O’Neil, 1989 as cited in Browne & Fiske, 2001). There are
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The sexual, physical, mental and emotional misconduct led to these individuals being traumatised along with their families and communities (Browne & Fiske, 2001). All of these social, political and economic factors contribute to how aboriginal women experiences accessing health care services.
In a study done by Browne and Fiske (2001) ten Aboriginal women were required to provide insight regarding their treatment in local hospitals in Northern B.C. The women in this study described being dismissed and their health issues not being taken seriously but rather trivial instead. They reported being promptly discharged and then having to return in most cases with their previous illness exacerbated. Other participants reported feelings of prejudice and assumed that their mistreatment was due to their race, gender and class. Other women in the study were found to only access health care when symptoms were unbearable for fear of being dismissed and because that was what was the ideology that was taught in residential school; where in suffering was to be tolerated. The women also conveyed that they were often perceived as passive individuals because this was their cultural practice to respecting people in authoritative positions. This also stems from what they were taught in residential schools such as to conform and to not be assertive which contributed to placing Aboriginal women more at risk of being in
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