The essay is required to consider the following in comparing and critically analysing the two groups:
1. Current and historical events and how they have impacted on known risk factors in each cultural group
2. How health care policies and service provision have influenced health outcomes for each cultural group
The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and the Pakistanis in Hong Kong are culturally diverse groups facing similar issues post and pre-colonization. The government of both the countries has taken many steps to end the social issues that they face. However, they continue to face issues pertaining to social exclusion, social discrimination, and social violence. In this essay, we shall discuss and compare these culturally diverse groups by analysing their current and historical past and the way they have affected their risk factors. Additionally, the essay shall also discuss the health care policies, service provision, and the way it has influenced the culturally diverse groups.
To understand and appreciate the existing realities of Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islander Australians, their historical background needs to be understood. Recently, there has been a change of Indigenous culture and kinds of creative expression and a reclaiming and reconnection of cultural life. Indigenous Australians have different identity, traditions, and histories. After the British had come into the continent of Australia, they declared it the “no man land” and took immediate possession of the land (Read & Broome, 2013). Initially, the indigenous Australians were treated as salvages and most of them were massacred Most of them lost their lives and were forbidden to practice any cultural rituals. After generations had been oppressed, finally reconciliation happened. The reconciliation took place in the form of incorporation of rights of the indigenous people. Colonization had a very powerful impact on the indigenous Australians. The foreign inhabitants exposed them to diseases such as measles, tuberculosis, and smallpox. This change made the inhabitants dependent on the foreign intruder for food, medicines, and hunting (Mercer et al., 2014).
The contemporary issues of indigenous Australians are linked with their historical issues. One of the most important impacts colonization had on the aboriginals is the loss of Aboriginal families and children. This led to stolen generations, as most of the families lost their children due to death or displacement of their families by the foreign intruders. Such deaths were deliberate, and it had the profound effect on the emotional and social well-being of indigenous children in Australia (Read & Broome, 2013). This led to issues related to Aboriginal identity as it became difficult to identify the children who were part of the indigenous community. Descent is about knowing and belonging to one particular place and person. This gives a sense of belongingness amongst people, however, in the recent days, the aboriginals find it difficult to relate to their indigenous people due to the displacement that had taken place in the past (Law & Lee, 2012). As per the Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage report, are indigenous Australians are the most disadvantaged section in Australia. The life expectancy of Indigenous Australians is around 9.7 to 11.5 years lower than that of other Australians. The average income of indigenous Australians is lower than other groups, and homicide death rates are six times higher than that of other Australians.
Similar to the Australian history, Hong Kong has also gone to through the period of colonization. The only difference is that the British invaders did not see this place as part of an unclaimed land. The history of ethnic minorities in Hong Kong can be traced back to the time when the British invaders instead of establishing assimilation policy, exercised a more oppressive policy on the Pakistanis to keep them under control (Read & Broome, 2013). The Pakistanis first settled in Hong Kong in the 19th century when frequent trading existed between India and China (Law & Lee, 2012). The British traders used Chinese waters for transportation and at the same time, they used the Hong Kong port. The fleets usually comprised of people from Pakistan. As times passed by, the Pakistanis ship merchants settled together in Hong Kong without proper accommodation, and somehow they were able to settle their lives near the Moro Koi area. However, due to the mistrust on the local Chinese, the British brought in the South Asians to safeguard the Hong Kong China Border from Indian invasions. The Pakistanis in Hong Kong lived for many years. However, they were never granted any citizen rights. They were exposed to open discrimination.
Recently, Pakistanis in Hong Kong mostly reside in the area of Kowloon. In the year 2006, about 98 percent of Pakistanis live in Hong Kong as normal residents of Hong Kong, and it has been more than nine years that they have already been residing as normal residents of Hong Kong. However, they faced difficulties in finding accommodation in the initial days, but now they form as one of the most important part of the Hong Kong population (Gu & Patkin, 2013). Hong Kong-born Pakistanis can speak well Cantonese and they have been able to integrate well into the society. However, they face employment issues as the original inhabitants of Hong Kong continue to get more preference over others. Additionally, Pakistanis also face issues related to ethnicity, communication, and identity (Guldin, 2013).
If a comparative study is drawn between Aboriginal Australians and Pakistanis in Hong Kong many similarities and differences, exist between the two communities. For example, both Hong Kong and Australian aboriginals share visible traits that differentiate them from other groups. Both the groups are self-conscious about their cultural difference and social status and both the groups experience a certain kind of inequality or disadvantage (Gu & Patkin, 2013). However, there are differences between the existing policies in Australia for indigenous Australians and ethnic minorities in Hong Kong. Though the basic policies remain the same, the differences prevail in the impact of colonization on Hong Kong and Australia. For example, in Hong Kong, the transportation system was improved, and the infrastructure of the country showed improvements post colonization (Read & Broome, 2013). However, in Australia colonization did not show many improvements in the demographics, transportation and infrastructure of the country. This made the aboriginals Australians much backward, as a country, as compared to other countries. Both the ethnic minorities in Hong Kong and Australian aboriginals face issues related to discrimination, social exclusion, and social inequality. In Hong Kong, Pakistani women live in fear that when her husband is charged with any crime, then she may face issues of discrimination by other Hong Kong nationals who may accuse them of not belonging to the country (Read & Broome, 2013). Pakistanis face not only ethical issues but also religious issues. In Australia, the aboriginals also undergo social problems such as social ignorance and discrimination based on their origin. The government has formulated many policies and programs so that they are acknowledged for their and can avail their rights and freedoms easily. In Australia, the Commonwealth Government, ATSIC, and Reconciliation Australia work together to discuss and promote the issues relating to self-determination in relation to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. In Hong Kong, similar policies have been formulated where there is an expectation that in the coming years the discrimination shall decrease.
The healthcare policies and service provision have influenced the health outcomes for these two cultural groups. The underprivileged health status of Aboriginal and Torres Islander peoples is a recognized fact (Tonsing, 2013). Governments of all influences have made obligations to deal with these circumstances over a prolonged period, convoyed with incremental financial support. The government has made detailed strategies together with national frameworks that have been developed by engaging the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, which evidently reveal the need for a comprehensive approach to deal with the complex health issues and other social determinants of these populations. Governments have recognized that they have been unsuccessful in the past to address the needs of the Aboriginal and Torres Islander peoples regarding health service provision (Chamberlain et al., 2016).
On the other hand, for Pakistanis in Hong Kong, there is a prohibition made by the Race Discrimination Ordinance (RDO) regarding the discrimination or unfairness in accessing healthcare (Reeve et al., 2015). However, the government has introduced several measures that aim to dress the barriers of language, the efficacy of measures have been reported to be doubtful because of the inconsistent information from the departments of Government or National Government organizations (NGOs) along with the user groups and the representatives associated with them. In 2009, the government to assist the ethnic priorities in gaining access to the public services had launched a telephonic interpretation service. Centre for Harmony and Enhancement of Ethnic Minority Residents (CHEFR) runs the services and is sponsored by the Department of Home Affairs (Freeman et al., 2014).
The healthcare policies and service provisions since colonization have a profound and long-term impact on the lives of the Indigenous people in Australia individually and in a group (Jayaraman & Joseph, 2013). Several of the previous policies and service provisions have had a harmful effect on the emotional, health and social wellbeing as well as the survival of the Indigenous populations. It also has limited their ability to direct and manage their future development (Durey et al., 2016). A number of commissions, evaluations and inquiries have scrutinized the impact of the previous policies that were intended for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People and communities. Several of these have persuaded the response to the severe health as well as mental health inequalities between the Indigenous Australians and the Non-Indigenous Australians. "The reports such as The Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody report" and "Evaluation of the Emotional and Social Well Being Action Plan" have made a contribution to the development of a strategic framework and national action plans (Erni & Leung, 2014).
On the other hand, in Hong, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government (HKSARG), which has mainly a "Color Blind" outlook towards the issues of racial discrimination, has made an anti-racial policy against discrimination and it has been opposed to introducing the Racial Discrimination Bill (Chamberlain et al., 2016). However, in the public sector, the Bill of Rights Ordinance (BRO) has prohibited racial discrimination, since the year 1991. It is an efficient tool, since the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) possess no authority to make obligatory the BRO or to look for complaints under it The Hong Kong LegCo ratified the RDO in the year 2008, but the enforcement of the RDO has been extensively criticized as challenging (Durey et al., 2016). For instance, RDO does not completely cover all the activity of the government such as those linked to the correctional service police, and immigration remains protected. RDO is applied for getting admissions in school, but it is not enclosed whether the success or failure for utilizing a particular alteration could lead towards the act of discrimination. There is no inclusive official reporting of data, which reveals the health status of diverse groups of Pakistanis (ethnic minorities) in Hong Kong. Moreover, there is a limited investigation concerning the Pakistanis in Hong Kong that is principally conducted by the academics or NGOs. There is simply small information regarding the health issue of the Pakistanis living in Hong Kong (Otim et al., 2014).
However, the Government confesses that in Hong Kong, racial discrimination is a problem. The administrators have not done enormously to legitimate the policies and service provisions against racial discrimination. For HKSARG, education is more efficient in comparison with legislation. There is no explanation regarding the reasons of not legitimating the policies against the problem of racial discrimination. To a certain level, the opposition by business sector is a cause. Several capitalists are worried that the legislation will make threats to the competitive capability of Hong Kong (Otim et al., 2014). Another reason is that since the Pakistanis are new immigrants, they can provide a market for cheap labor and due to this the exploitation might come to an end. Even though there are special services of interpretation, the existing services of healthcare are not successful to acknowledge the social and cultural differences between the natives of Hong Kong and the Pakistanis living in Hong Kong. They are treated as homogenous populaces that lead to an inappropriate overview, unmet needs, and inappropriate management of health (Reeve et al., 2015).
There is a shortage of services, which are specifically catered for the ethnic minorities under their healthcare system. According to a local study, the preponderance of ethnic minorities has faced difficulties in accessing health education, health information, and services of health care (Erni & Leung, 2014).
If a comparative study is drawn between the Aboriginal Australians and Pakistanis in Hong Kong, several similarities and differences can be observed in these two communities with respect to the influence of the healthcare policies and service provision (Otim et al., 2014). For both the communities, the policies and service provision have not played a significant role in improving the health outcomes and quality of life of the individuals belonging to these communities. Governments have recognized that they have been unsuccessful in the past to address the needs of the Aboriginal and Torres Islander peoples regarding health service provision. However, the Government confesses that in Hong Kong, racial discrimination is a problem. The administrators have not done enormously to legitimate the policies and service provisions against racial discrimination (Jayaraman & Joseph, 2013).
In the end, it can be concluded that by analyzing the current and historical events and their impact on the known risk factors in each cultural group have revealed the socio-economic status and health outcomes of these two communities, which have not improved despite all the efforts made by the Government. The Government needs to legitimate the policies and service provision so that the unnecessary things should be prohibited and the individuals belonging to these two communities should live their lives successfully in an efficient manner, as it is also the need of the hour.
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