In order to propogate the knowledge of above determinants and improve health status of Canadians, Health Canada has set up a number of community heath organizations and agencies. The work of these agencies can consist of creating awareness, improving socio-economic status, advocating better working conditions and so on. Unfortunately, many groups such as aboriginal people, recent immigrants and people with disabilities experience challenges in accessing these resources and still cotinue to lead an unhealthy life.
While many may argue that the Canadian health care system provides equal treatment to every Canadian, evidence shows that this is not the case. There are major discrepancies within the system regarding Indigenous people that need to be addressed including several factors such as: housing issues, stereotypes Aboriginals face and the lack of Aboriginal doctors.
Over the past decades, Aboriginal people (the original people or indigenous occupants of a particular country), have been oppressed by the Canadian society and continue to live under racism resulting in gender/ class oppression. The history of Colonialism, and Capitalism has played a significant role in the construction and impact of how Aborignal people are treated and viewed presently in the Canadian society. The struggles, injustices, prejudice, and discrimination that have plagued Aboriginal peoples for more than three centuries are still grim realities today. The failures of Canada's racist policies toward Aboriginal peoples are reflected in the high levels of unemployment and poor education.
Despite enjoying excellent health and receiving comprehensive and universal healthcare access, Canada has seen continuing healthcare inequality especially among those people living at or below the poverty level and those who are members of the Aboriginal Peoples. The greatest impact of this disparity is evidenced through earlier mortality rates and greater incidences of injury and illness. Nowhere in Canada is this more true than among the Aboriginal Peoples, who, for example, have the highest rate or and risk for Type 2 Diabetes. This risk costs Canada an additional 18 billion dollars CAD every year (Strategic Initiatives and Innovations Directorate, 2011).
There are many people who say that we are living in a post racial society in the United States today and there are aspects of life in which that seems to be true. Yet there are many areas of life however in which race still is an important divider that has a major impact on the experiences of the minority peoples in the United States. In 2010, about 41% of the U.S. population identified themselves as members of racial or ethnic minority groups. According to the Centers for Disease Control, compared to non-minorities, some minorities experience a disproportionate level of preventable disease, death and disability (. http://www.cdc.gov/minorityhealth/populations/remp.html ).
Racialization and prejudice operate in health care and when it comes to Aboriginal women, this social inequality can be studied starting at primary care. Defined as the care of first-contact with a medical professional about a health problem, this field is regulated under the Canadian Health Act of 1984. The Act also states that every Canadian is eligible to choose their own primary care family doctor since their service charges is covered at the provincial and federal government level. (Hutchison et al., 2011) Even though reserve communities are funded at the federal level, for Aboriginal women on-reserve, this “choice” does not come with variety; and often primary care of treatment by a family doctor can involve situations of discrimination and judgement based on their race, class, and gender (Hutchison et al., 2011). The qualitative study interviewing Aboriginal women and documenting their experiences of primary health care on-reserve sites in northwestern Canada, found that many of the population’s health concerns were not taken seriously and often dismissed by their health care providers. Women of the older generation especially, often did not have a covet to form a patient-physician relationship in order to express their health problems, stating that this was what was taught by their teachers in residential schools in the past. Some also mentioned that the need to show their card of Aboriginal identity when accessing primary care services, such as the dentistry or
Beatty and Berdahl point out that policymakers and researchers have not paid enough attention to Abriginal seniors’ health care needs. Both authors seek to understand what health care challenges Aboriginal seniors face in Canada what policy methodologies are required to increase the wellbeing and health of Aboriginal seniors in order for them have a better quality of life and respect their culture and needs. Therefore, the authors suggest that policymakers should include four factors to take in considerations: socioeconomic situation, jurisdiction, underutilization of health services available in urban context and elder abuse.
Healthcare systems are microcosms of the larger society in which they exist. Where there is structural violence or cultural violence in the larger society, so will there be evidence of systematic inequities in the institutions of these societies. The healthcare system in Australia is one example—from a plethora of similarly situated healthcare systems—in which the color of a patient’s skin or the race of his parents may determine the quality of medical received. Life expectancy and infant mortality rates are vastly different for non-Aboriginal, Aboriginal, and Torres Strait Islanders residing in Australia. The life expectancy of Aboriginal men is 21 years shorter than for non-Aboriginal men in Australia. For women, the difference is
The inequalities in today’s indigenous communities are still strongly evident. Heard, Khoo & Birrell (2009), argued that while there has been an attempt in narrowing the gap between Indigenous and non Indigenous Australians, a barrier still exists in appropriate health care reaching indigenous people. The Indigenous people believe, health is more than the individual, it is
Canada is a country of many peoples that have come together. Throughout Canada’s history there has been discrimination of several races. However, the aboriginal people of Canada have faced particular discrimination considering that they have been treated poorly and against their will, especially considering that they were the original people of the land who welcomed those from across the seas. Aboriginal people, in particular, are facing injustice concerning their privileges, accessibility, and equality in the healthcare system. Canada boasts of having one of the greatest healthcare systems in the world with a high life expectancy for both men and women. The rights of Canadian citizens pertaining to health is stated in the Canada Health
Indigenous peoples experience racism and discrimination commonly in healthcare (Denison, Varcoe, & Browne, 2014). Nurses may be unaware of the discrimination that occurs around them and the oppressive behaviors they themselves project. Nurses must give indigenous patients extra time and make a concerted effort to build a trusting relationship and provide culturally competent care. Ultimately, colonialism is still affecting the health of the Aboriginal population. In this paper I will discuss an incident of discrimination I witnessed that many of the staff were probably unaware was actually discriminating to the patients. Nurses compose the majority of health care providers and therefore we have the responsibility and power to make a change (Canadian Institute for Health Information, 2013). Nurses must gain cultural competence and gain awareness about the power they carry as both health professionals and Caucasian nurses in order to help decrease discrimination and increase healthcare outcomes of indigenous peoples.
In his book ‘First Nations of the Twenty First Century’, James Frideres raises the question “Why do the health concerns of First Nations differ from those of mainstream Canada?” I hope to show that the health and well-being challenges faced by First Nations people are different from those of mainstream Canadians primarily because of the history of colonization, Canadian government policies and social acceptance of those policies.
“Where is Race and Racism?” Quite notably suitable for the first chapter analyzed by Dr. Merle A. Jacobs. As an intro to the book, Race In-Equity, Intersectionality, Social Determinants of Health and Equity, this question is subsequently brought up, however, no one knows it’s true origins. This course Health and Equity, directed by Dr. Merle A. Jacobs gives a clear direction on how it possibly came to be, and it is this: “racism is socially constructed”. It is a belief conjured up in today’s society and has been embedded throughout the origins of Canada. In this essay I seek to outline the underlining problems of Canada and how race is socially constructed. It will seek to break down the major minorities examined in this text, most notably the Indigenous People of Canada, Japanese Canadians and the “African” Americans. It aims to highlight that the problems stem from the social determinants of health: the physical environment, child development, and income and status. The essay will prove that “integration” and “segregation” are the same word in a Canadian “alienated” world. Whereby, people are taught to be “Canadians” by being separated by its norms and practices, it’s culture and henceforth, the people “different” will lose their cultural identity and will be forced into sharing the same beliefs as their white counterparts. This essay will provide aids on how, and whereby, policies and laws need to be rectified, in order to have a concrete solution and not a temporarily relief for problems manifesting in today’s society.
A large number of studies conducted on health outcomes of racialized groups are derived from countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom (Toronto Public Health, 2013, p. 1). Canadian research has only recently begun to delve into this subject area, specifically examining the differential health outcomes and accessibility to health care across different racialized groups (2013, p. 1). According to data from the 2011 National Household Survey, one in five Canadians are foreign-born, with the majority of immigrants arriving from Asia (Statistics Canada, 2013, p. 6). With the large number of immigrants in Canada, especially for those of ethnic minority, it is of great importance to recognize the health inequities
According to Newbold (1998), the determinants of health framework states that health status is dependent not only upon access to health care services, but encompasses a much broader range of determinants, including those of culture and language (p.68). The theme addressed within this paper focuses on how language and culture of Indigenous or Aboriginal peoples, impact their access to healthcare, and overall quality of that care. Aboriginal peoples face many more challenges in maintaining their health in comparison to the general population (Cameron, Camargo Plazas, Santos Salas, Bourque-Bearskin, & Hungler, 2014). To understand why this may be, we will be discussing exactly how their culture and language may impact their access to quality healthcare, and how nurses can venture a response to these issues.