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Research Assignment: Geelong Municipal Health and Wellbeing Plan Essay Example

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Health plan for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander

Risk groups

Despite having world class standards of healthcare service in Australia, the people with do not equally get to enjoy the benefits of the services. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, constitute 2.1 percent of Australia’s population. It is said that the mortality experience among these small group is comparable to that of people in developing countries like Iran and Guatemala. Research conducted revealed that, the life expectancy of the male population in indigenous Australia was at 6o years (as of 1995-97) while that of the whole male population of Australia was at 76.2 years. The female population showed similar trends as that of the indigenous Australians was at 67.6 years versus 82.7 years for the entire female population (Yin & Joan, 2002).

The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan 2013 – 2023 data showed that the life expectancy in different age groups. It is reported that most deaths are reported before individuals attain the age of 65. The most age groups are 0-4years followed by 35-39 years and the highest being 45-49years.
Research Assignment: Geelong Municipal Health and Wellbeing Plan

Most deaths have been attributed to chronic illnesses. There are seven key factors that have been linked with pausing the most risk among these group of people. They include: low fruit and vegetable intake, tobacco, physical inactivity, alcohol, high blood cholesterol, obesity and, high blood pressure. The report further links the nutritional state of the population to various external factor such as the social perceptions, environmental and geographical settings and social economic disadvantage of the community. The population has also been reported to record three times the number of road accident related deaths as compared to other Australians.

Research Assignment: Geelong Municipal Health and Wellbeing Plan 1

Key priority areas

The key areas that the plan seeks to address include:

  1. Maternal health and parenting

55 percent of women from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander in the process of birthing are live in remote areas thus, they do not have access to infant health. It is therefore important for efforts to be geared towards bringing the services close and providing women with antenatal, birthing and postnatal care (Kildea, Tracy, Kruske & Barclay, 2010). The prenatal care will enable parents have knowledge of health risks that their lifestyle possess to their unborn child. Prevention of low birth weight can significantly prevent other challenges that may develop in future.

  1. Childhood health and development

At this stage, the child is experiencing physical, emotional and psychological growth. The important health practices at this stage include nutritional health, immunization and prevention of health hazards such as second hand smoking. Awareness programs will help in ensuring the children grow health. Initiatives such as closing the gap would be important.

  1. Healthy adults

Healthy adults are more likely to uphold healthy lifestyle decisions in their homes. Most chronic illnesses related to tobacco and other factors are preventable and early management can reduce the mortality rate in this stage. The importance of appreciating the culture of the people, would allow easy penetration to reach out to them. The advantage of having a family network would allow health providers identify hereditary illnesses and help address this from a closer range (Clive, Brown, Tanisha, Lauran & Stephen, 2012). Integrating these age group is vital at ensuring they champion efforts towards physical, emotional and social health.

  1. Healthy aging

The elderly are tasked with the duty of keeping their culture alive among the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Where the elderly are sick, it would be advisable to let them choose where to stay. Therefore the goal would be to come up with a model that helps them maintain their cultural values. The healthcare providers for the elderly need to be increased to help reach out to all of them and provide needed healthcare service.

Dealing with chronic illnesses

In the adult healthcare program, management and prevention of chronic illnesses is among one of the main focus. In a research conducted among people of this community, it was discovered that 41 percent and 72 percent of women and men respectively are smokers. A huge number of the young adults and middle aged people had morbidities with others reporting multiple morbidities (Wendy, Srinivas, Joanne, Suresh & Ivor, 2005). Studies also showed that half of the population, the age bracket of 15 years and over smoked. It was observed that households with an increased income had an increased risk of smoking. The disadvantaged were less likely to smoke though in general the population reported high numbers of smokers. By establishing social setting, it will be easier to address these issues from a close range. Social economic education and dealing with their income would also help reduce these vices.

Identified strategy

As the strategic goal of creating a health system free of discrimination and one that is culturally respectful, there are three strategic goals set out to achieve this.

  1. Implementation of Anti-Racism strategy 2010-2020

  2. Improvement of cultural awareness and reduction of language barrier among healthcare providers

If there is to be a breakthrough in eradicating this discrimination, the use of racial socialization is of essence. The importance of this practice to reduce the impact of racism of service provision.

  1. Identify and advocate for practices that eliminate systemic racism

These are requirements set out or policies that are upheld and result in unfair treatment or practices that undermine individuals from a certain race or ethnic group. There are various ways of eradicating racism that includes; direct participation programs that allows increased contact among groups with social distance. Communications and social marketing through various platforms to promote fair treatment (Yin, Ricci & Ian, 2008).

Plan strategy versus best practice

A community based self-management program conducted among Hispanics revealed that after four months of care, the participants of the program showed improved health compared to the normal care subjects. These results are reflected on a study conducted by Lorig, Sobel, Stewart & Brown (1999). The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Health Plan 2013 – 2023 has its bases on integration. The focus is to eradicate discrimination and embracing communication while enhancing the values of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.


This strategy is bound to be a success. Breaking down racial barriers by promoting direct participation will help other appreciate the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the cultural practices they uphold. Thanks to the already existing family ties in the community, creation of support structures would be a sure way to help keep the health practices going long after the awareness programs.


Yin P. & Joan C., 2002, Placing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mortality in an international context, Australian and New Zealand journal of public health. Vol. 26:1, pg. 11-16

Clive A., Ngiare B., Tanisha J., Lauran Y. & Stephen L., 2013,
Strategic approaches to enhanced health service delivery for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with chronic illness: a qualitative study, BMC Health Services Research, 12:143

Yin P., Ricci H. & Ian A., 2008, The Impact of Racism on Indigenous Health in

Australia and Aotearoa: Towards a Research Agenda, Cooperative Research Centre for Aboriginal Health. Vol. 4

Kildea S., Kruske S. &Barclay L., 2010, “Closing the Gap” How maternity services can contribute to reducing poor maternal infant health outcomes for Aborigional and Torres Strait islander women, international electrical journal of rural and remote health research , Vol. 10: 1383

Wendy E., Srinivas K., Joanne S., Suresh S. & Ivor K., 2005, A chronic disease outreach program for Aboriginal communities, Kidney International, vol. 68, pg.1523-1755

David P., Viki B., Ian P. & Joan C.,2008, the social determinants of being an indigenous non-smoker, vol. 32, pg. 110-132.

Lorig K., Philip L. & Gonzalez V., 2003, Hispanic chronic disease self-management: a randomized community based outcome trial, nursing research, vol. 52:6, pg. 361-369

Lorig K., Sobel D., Stewart A. & Brown B., 1999, Evidence suggesting that a chronic disease self-management program can improve health status while reducing hospitalization: a random trial, medical care, vol. 37:1, pg. 5-14.