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Indigenous Health For Health Sciences: Health Issues

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Discuss about the Indigenous Health for Health Sciences for Health Issues.




In the present scenario, one of the most important aspects that must be observed in each and every scenario is cultural safety. The very name cultural safety brings this idea, that it is basically referring to the attempts or the efforts made in order to protect the cultural and the social differences that exists in the background of each and every individual (Brascoupé and Catherine 2009). This cultural difference has to be maintained in each and every work scenario like that of health and education services. The main aim of the paper will be to see why cultural safety is very much needed within the context of the Australian healthcare centers. This is because of the fact that there is large scale discrimination and injustice done towards the Aboriginals or the Torres Islanders (Brascoupé and Catherine 2009). Hence, they often have to suffer through a large scale of displeasing attitudes from many of the health professionals. This indeed is a major disgrace on part of the Australian health service institutes. Hence, efforts are to be made so that there can be the creation of a totally new, different and refreshed environment where the Aboriginals well be treated with not only proper care in a respectful manner as well (Brascoupé and Catherine 2009).

Among the many different health professions one of the important one is that of a Medical and Health Service Manager. He is someone who is responsible for planning and maintaining a specific area or department (Rix et al 2015). In other words, they can exercise the overall control over the proper implementation of health care laws, proper treatment of patients, avoiding of the unjust discrimination between the patients based on their origin and cultural history (Frey et al 2014).


Principles of cultural safety

  • Health practitioners reflect on their own practice
  • Talk to, ask and engage with the clients or the patients
  • seek to minimize the power differentials
  • undertake a process of decolonization
  • Ensure that we do not diminish, demean or disempower others through our actions

Health professionals reflect their own experiences

Self reflection

Self-reflection is the way in which all the medical professionals can narrate their own experiences that they have gained during the entire course of their work. The process of self-reflection also talks about the critical way of thinking (Freeman et al 2014) The health professionals often try to think and talk about all their experiences in a more justified and logical manner. As this is a real problem of the Australian health care services that the Aboriginals are treated with great disrespect, health professionals must speak about their own experiences in a way that is outside the age-old code of conduct made by the society (Yeung 2016). There are many important aspects that the doctors need to follow while describing their self experiences and their self reflections. Self reflection is very important part of professional development (Came et al 2017).

. The first and the foremost step that is taken by the health professionals is identification of the problems that are prevalent at work. The next step that follows is the formulation of the different strategies that are to be used for solving the problem. There must also be an ongoing inquiry on the progress of the rectification measure of the problem. (Came et al 2017)

Critical reflection

Being a medical and health service manager, I have been able to witness these scenarios in a very close way. Aboriginals are the people who usually reside in the remote and rural sections of Australia and are often ill-treated due to many reasons (Yeung 2016). I have often seen that the professional of my own department is very much reluctant in extending their services to the Aboriginals. This is really a great disgrace on part of a health service department because their main duty is to extend their helping hands to the ones in need and here, they are discriminating between patients based in their culture, race and language.


Talk to, ask and engage with the clients or the patients

Self reflection

The main purpose of any and every health care department must be to try their level best in curing their patients. They must try their patients with extra care and attention. It is the prime duty of each and every member associated with health department to know and realize the fact that their patients are the ones who are in need and have approached them with a great hope. Hence, it is their duty to treat their patients as their fellow human beings first and then as patients. In other words, they must not only be given medical aid but also proper emotional and moral support. The health professionals must keep it in their mind that different paients can come from different cultural backgrounds. Owing to the cultural differences they must be having many different faiths, beliefs and customs. As a result of which, it is important for all the health professionals to be very alert while speaking with all their patients. None of the words or the actions of the health professionals must go beyond the emotions and feelings of their patients.  (Ridenet al 2014).

Critical thinking

 A medical and health service officer, I always ask my subordinates to behave very politely with all their patients. In order to appear polite with their aboriginal patients, the doctors need to know the background history of such patients. This will enable the doctor to know the different harshness through which these patients had to suffer. If the Doctors come to know that these aboriginal patients are subjected to a lot of racial tortures and discriminations then this will definitely make the Doctors deal with these patients in a totally different manner. The doctors must initially use their interpersonal skills in order to make those patients comfortable. The doctors must however remember that they must not treat these patients as a special or a reserved group; he must treat those patients normally but with more care and attention. This will be n effort to make those patients know that they are not isolated or abandoned. Rather they are free people just like everyone else; they will get equal rights and opportunities to use all health and medical facilities. We must keep in mind that the Aboriginals are people who have suffered a lot already. They often face difficulty not only because they are poor and live in distant remote regions but also because they face many language barriers and financial barriers as well. So, I make sure that my team knows how to engage the Aboriginal patients in conversations. The doctors and other health care professional must appear very polite to them and try to know about the problems that they face. There must be efforts to make towards community engagement and involvement. This can be very much helpful for the Aboriginals to communicate about their health problems and get the necessary treatment for their cure. This is one of the most important aspect of a medical and health service manager to see that he has sufficient competency in his interpersonal skills. It is he who has to manager an entire team of other health service professionals. So, it is of utmost importance for him to ensure that all his subordinates are successful in making the patients feel at ease and comfortable. The efforts must be made to remove all hesitations between the patients and their doctors. These will be done only through smooth conversation and interpersonal interactions between the two.

Seek to minimize the power differentials

Self reflection

It is very important to establish and distinguish these power differentials between a therapist and his clients. These power differentials are very much important in developing an area of comfort and faith between the two, on one hand. On the other hand, it also enables the therapist to treat his patient in a positive way. The doctors must make sure that there is never any power struggle or conflict of position and power going on between a doctor and his patients. It is the duty of the Doctors to remember that his patients are the ones who have approached him in order to cure themselves. Hence, it is the duty of the Doctor to try his level best in helping out his patients by using anything and everything that is permitted by his knowledge. If the therapist or the doctor behaves in a rude way with his patients, this will have a negative impact on the doctor patient relationship. The patients might think that they are inferior to the Doctors. The doctors must know how to respect the choices and the decisions poof their patients rather than bossing over them or imposing unnecessary restrictions on them (Durey 2010).


Critical thinking

Being a medical and health service manager, I have to work a lot on this particular area. This is because the Aboriginals or the Torres islanders are people who are already very much dominated and marginalized. Hence, while interacting with them, I always make sure that there is a comfort zone created between me and my patients so that they no longer feel hesitant. I encourage them to speak with me freely and narrate all their problems. I always try to break their misconception that I and other doctors have a kind of authority or ownership over them. I always try to make them feel at ease. I also instruct the same to all my subordinates that they must treat their patients with empathy. Medicinal help is always not sufficient for all the patients. What they need is proper emotional and moral support. I try my level best to see that there is an area of comfort and understanding between me and my patients. There must not be any hesitation otr fear working within the patients.

I make sure that my patients are never under this feeling that they are under my ownership. They must never feel inferior in front of their doctors. We are there to help them and support them emotionally. I always try to encourage them in every possible way.

Undertake a process of decolonization

Self reflection

Colonization must be diminished. In other words, the practice of segregating people into small, isolated colonies must be given up.

Critical thinking

As a medical and service manager, I must manage the affairs of an entire team of health professionals. I always instruct them to appear very freely with the Aboriginals and to give them the feeling, that is one among us. They must be brought to the center from the margins. As doctors, it must be our duty to empower our patients as well. It must be the duty of the Doctors and all the other health care professionals to see that there is no social disparity between their patients. The aim of the doctors must be to generate social justice and equality. This can be done by following a process of Decolonization. The aboriginals were so longer colonized and were treated as a restricted, backward class. They were also denied the basic rights to heal and medical facilities (Walker et al 2014). Hence, it must be the duty of the Doctors to decolonize these small communities. Doctors must treat the indigenous patients just as they treat the non indigenous patients. However special care and empathy is needed for these patients but at the same time they are to be given proper recognition. Doctors must always give equal rights and opportunities to both the indigenous and the non indigenous patients.


Ensure that we do not diminish, demean or disempower others through our actions

Self reflection

It must be ensured by the health care institutes that none of their actions must hurt the emotions of the Aboriginals. It must be their duty to support the Aboriginals not only by giving them the proper treatment but also by entering them the moral and emotional support (Walker et al 2014). As a Doctor, it must be his responsibility to see that none of his actions or words ever hurt the emotion of any of his patients. They must ensure that none of their activities hurt or demean any of their patients in the course of the treatment (Paul et al 2015). It is for this reason that the doctors must have a clear knowledge about the social cultural history of their patients. So, that none of the words or actions of the Doctors hurt the emotions of their clients. They must never discriminate between their patients based on their social position or cultural aspects. They must treat everyone equally and with proper justice.

Critical thinking

I make sure that none of my or my team’s activity ever hurts the sentiments of the Aboriginals. None of our words must hurt their emotions. We must remember that our duty is to bring them out of the injustice and discomfort that they have been suffering over the ages rather than pushing them more towards it. I make sure that I have a sufficient knowledge about the cultural background of all my patients, particularly the aboriginals. This will enable me to carry on all my further actions very attentively do that none of them evrr hurt the emotions of my patients (Paul et al 2015). At the same time I also suggest the same thing to all my subordinates so that before starting their treatment they must also have a good and thorough knowledge about the socio cultural backgrounds of the patients. (Walker et al 2014).


Thereby, it can be concluded that the discrimination between the Indigenous and the non-Indigenous people are increasing day by day. A large amount of this is happening due to the institutionalized and systemic racism, which the society and the doctors particularly, are becoming a victim of. Hence, efforts must be made by the Government to enforce laws in support of the Aboriginals. This can be done by bringing in the Aboriginals into the main stream social activities. They must be given proper lodging, educational and also proper health and medical facilities. They are to be brought into the centers of the society from the margins. So, it is the duty of the Doctors and all the health care professionals to have a clear knowledge about the cultural and the social backgrounds of the patients. This will enable the Doctors to carry on their treatment in such a way that none of their actions or words would ever hurt the emotions or the cultural beliefs of the indigenous patients. Doctors must make sure that they keep in mind all the principles of cultural safety like keeping a record of their self experiences, to see and analyze the problems existing at the work place, talk with their patients with their interpersonal skills to make them feel comfortable and give up all hesitations. Doctors must abolish all power struggles existing between them and their patients. They must also empower the indigenous patients by decolonizing them and make sure that none of their words and actions are disempowering them.



Brascoupé, S. and Catherine Waters BA, M.A., 2009. Cultural safety: Exploring the applicability of the concept of cultural safety to Aboriginal health and community wellness. International Journal of Indigenous Health, 5(2), p.6.

Came, H.A., McCreanor, T. and Simpson, T., 2017. Health activism against barriers to indigenous health in Aotearoa New Zealand. Critical Public Health, 27(4), pp.515-521.

Clifford, A., McCalman, J., Bainbridge, R. and Tsey, K., 2015. Interventions to improve cultural competency in health care for Indigenous peoples of Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA: a systematic review. International Journal for Quality in Health Care, 27(2), pp.89-98.

Durey, A., 2010. Reducing racism in Aboriginal health care in Australia: where does cultural education fit?. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 34(s1).

Freeman, T., Edwards, T., Baum, F., Lawless, A., Jolley, G., Javanparast, S. and Francis, T., 2014. Cultural respect strategies in Australian Aboriginal primary health care services: beyond education and training of practitioners. Australian and New Zealand journal of public health, 38(4), pp.355-361.

Frey, R., Raphael, D., Bellamy, G. and Gott, M., 2014. Advance care planning for M?ori, Pacific and Asian people: the views of New Zealand healthcare professionals. Health & social care in the community, 22(3), pp.290-299.

Pauly, B.B., McCall, J., Browne, A.J., Parker, J. and Mollison, A., 2015. Toward cultural safety: nurse and patient perceptions of illicit substance use in a hospitalized setting. Advances in Nursing Science, 38(2), pp.121-135.

Riden, H., Jacobs, S. and Marshall, B., 2014. New Zealand nurses’ views on preceptoring international nurses. International nursing review, 61(2), pp.179-185.

Rix, E.F., Barclay, L., Stirling, J., Tong, A. and Wilson, S., 2015. The perspectives of Aboriginal patients and their health care providers on improving the quality of hemodialysis services: a qualitative study. Hemodialysis International, 19(1), pp.80-89.

Walker, R., Schultz, C. and Sonn, C., 2014. Cultural competence–Transforming policy, services, programs and practice. Working together: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health and wellbeing principles and practice, pp.195-220.

Yeung, S., 2016. Conceptualizing cultural safety: Definitions and applications of safety in health care for Indigenous mothers in Canada. Journal for Social Thought, 1(1), pp.1-13.


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