The Inequalities Surrounding Indigenous Health

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The Inequalities Surrounding Australian Indigenous Health

Inequality in health is one of the most controversial topics within Australian Health Care. Inequality in relation to health is defined as being “differences in health status or in the distribution of health determinants between different population groups” (World Health Organization, 2012). Within Australia inequality affects a wide range of population groups; however Indigenous Australians are most widely affected therefore this paper will focus on how inequality has impacted their health. Research shows that Australia’s Indigenous people suffer from a multitude of social and economic inequalities such as inadequate access to nutritious food and health care, being socially and
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Such strain can increase the individuals stress levels. The Australian Human Rights Commission points out that stress “can impact on the body’s immune system, circulatory system, and metabolic functions through a variety of hormonal pathways and is associated with a range of health problems, particularly diseases of the circulatory system (2007). Indigenous individuals are strongly identify with their community and work together to heal rather than exclusively. Therefore socio-economic disadvantages, intolerance and health inequalities that affect Indigenous individuals also have an impact on their communities.
The introduction to the western/European way of living, loss of ancestral land, intolerance and the economic disadvantages that Indigenous Australians suffer fuels socially related conditions within their communities such as substance abuse, violence, increased degrees of infectious diseases and chronic diseases etc. culminating in higher mortality rates than non-Indigenous Australians (Duckett & Willcox, 2011, p. 34-35). Stephens, Porter, Nettleton and Willis (2006) state that “infectious disease burden persists for Indigenous communities with high rates of diseases such as tuberculosis, and inequality also exists in the prevalence of chronic disease, including diabetes and heart disease” (p.2022). Statistics show mortality for most age groups of the
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