This presentation is designed to provide a brief insight of Institutional racism and accessing healthcare in Australia. It identifies the allocated areas and communities who are affected by this issue throughout the country. It also elaborates the techniques which are used to effectively communicate with those who are at risk in the identified allocated areas. Finally, the presentation ends with offering some useful initiatives to reduce the impact of this health priority concern in Australia.
The term "institutional racism" was founded by Stokely Carmichael, who would later become known as Kwame Ture, in 1960s. Institutional Racism refers to the racial discrimination expressed by individuals or informal social groups, governed by behavioural norms that promote racist thinking and dominate minority communities. It imposes unacceptable conditions on specific groups on the basis of race or ethnicity (Freeman et al., 2014). It has been deeply rooted in Australian institutions, which has created wide disparities among Aboriginal people to get access to healthcare services in the country.
Areas, individuals, and communities facing during Institutional Racism
It has been observed that racism has adversely affected the health of Indigenous Australians, and hampered their access to effective health care system across the country, as compared to its general white population. Aboriginal Australians face a wide and complex racism in having access to human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural, or any other field of public life (Kelaher et al., 2014). Also, due to unavailability of effective health services, these racist people suffer from cardiovascular disease (CVD), causing early adult mortality among Aboriginal Australians.
In the Northern Territory of Australia, though Aboriginal people have access to health services, but the availability is limited and highly charged. In central Australia, town camps do not facilitate on-site primary medical care services and advice. Health experts visit the remote areas only once a year but cardiac rehabilitation is not made available properly.
Process used for identification and assessment of individuals and communities at risk
A qualitative study has been designed to identify and assess the individuals and communities at risk of institutional racism in Australia. A culturally sensitive illness tale focussed on Aboriginal cardiac patients’ typical journey guided focus groups and semi-structured interviews with Aboriginal cardiac patients, non-cardiac community members, health care providers and community researchers. A thematic conceptual matrix and mixed coding method has been utilized in the analysis (Khoury, 2015). Themes were classified into Predisposing, Enabling, Need and Reinforcing aspects and recognized at Individual, Interpersonal, and Primary Care and Hospital System levels.
Institutional Racism: A major concern in contemporary Australian society
Racism in Australia has been drawn from the behaviour and incidents of both historical and contemporary racist community. It has been observed that average persons were more likely to be assaulted than the international students during the period 2005 to 2009 (Halse, 2017). Unequal access to healthcare services is the major consequence of racism across the country, and also linked with unjust distribution of political power, money and other valuable resources.
Specific techniques used to effectively communicate with an individual who is at risk
Application of effective techniques is important to communicate with individuals who are at risk. The techniques involve a sound understanding of community concerns and well-planned systems to help them (Halse, 2017). These include gaining feedback, establishing trust, eliminating fear or anger, addressing changes or crisis situations, involving community in risk management process, and motivating communities to take measures to take care of their health.
Current Australian initiatives to reduce the impact of this health priority concern
Currently, Australia is in the process of taking evidence-based anti-racism initiatives interpersonally, and socially. The initiatives include providing correct information about aboriginal community, their attitudes and norms, and customs and traditions. Community meetings are also an important part of initiatives, which are organised at regional level to enable racist people openly express the causes of bias and injustice and recommend valuable ways to eliminate the same (Zambas, & Wright, 2016). Also, general Australian population is encouraged to communicate with the people of Indigenous groups against whom discrimination occurs.
In addition to this, National Health Priority Areas (NHPA) initiative has also been designed in Australia, which unites the efforts of Commonwealth, State and Territory governments to reduce the impacts of this health priority concern (Dwyer et al., 2016). This initiative emphasizes on reducing the burden of sickness, and inequality while providing access to quality healthcare services for Australian aboriginal community.
Dwyer, J., O'Donnell, K., Willis, E., & Kelly, J. (2016). Equitable care for indigenous people: Every health service can do it. Asia Pacific Journal of Health Management, 11(3), 11.
Freeman, T., Edwards, T., Baum, F., Lawless, A., Jolley, G., Javanparast, S., & 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), 355-361.
Halse, C. (2017). Responsibility for racism in the everyday talk of secondary students. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 38(1), 2-15.
Kelaher, M., Ferdinand, A., & Paradies, Y. (2014). Experiencing racism in health care: the mental health impacts for Victorian Aboriginal communities. Med J Aust, 201(1), 44-47.
Khoury, P. (2015). Beyond the biomedical paradigm: The formation and development of Indigenous community-controlled health organizations in Australia. International Journal of Health Services, 45(3), 471-494.
Zambas, S. I., & Wright, J. (2016). Impact of colonialism on M?ori and Aboriginal healthcare access: a discussion paper. Contemporary nurse, 52(4), 398-409.