Impact of Social determinants on the health of Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders

Impact of Social determinants on the health of Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders

Impact of Social determinants on the health of Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders



I was asked by my teacher to analyze the social determinants affecting the Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders' health. So, I read many articles from which I came to know that the Australian population has been divided into two types of the population that is Indigenous group and non-Indigenous group. I agree that they are affected by social determinants due to which they regularly face discrimination and criticism based on cultural and racial differences. These people do not receive all the medical services the same as for the non-indigenous population that is the reason they people are majorly affected by the diseases (Browne, 2017) In this paper, the essay will include the discussion in favour that social determinants affects the health of Aborginals and Torres Strait Islanders with the view points of Linda Burney in improvement of health system. 

Social determinant: Racism

There is a high prevalence of discrimination amongst the Australian population on the grounds of racism and culture. They have a poor health system and have major gaps in service delivery that needs improvement on a primary basis. Indigenous population belongs to different racism that is why they are criticised and discriminated (Goodman et al., 2017). These people are not allowed to do their traditions, worship God, perform customs and follow rituals. Even though their offsprings are not allowed to enter the premises of school to get an education. They are criticized in all the matters, and this is the reason these people lag. However, it affects the economy of the country on a direct and indirect basis and affects the standard of living. They are not even allowed to do a job with white Australians. This is the reason they do not have the source of earning and it affects the health of them and leads to poor and unhealthy living conditions. In respect of medical services, they are again criticized to take the benefits for primary, secondary and tertiary care (Alfred & Corntassel, 2018). This essay will include the discussion in favour of high prevalence of discrimination amongst the Australian population on the grounds of racism and culture


Role of Linda Burney in the Australian system to improve health outcomes

As I read the literature, I found the role of Linda Burney in the upbringing of Aboriginals. She was the first female who got success in her career and was from Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders (McBain?Rigg & Veitch, 2017). She spent most of her life in overcoming the prejudice and paving for the future generations of indigenous groups. She was the first Aboriginal student who got success and served in the New South Wales Parliament and was elected in the house of representatives. She always felt that 'Being born Black in Australia was political'. Later on, Linda Burney became the President of the Aboriginals Education consultive Group (AECG). In this group, she advocated for equality and aimed to ensure the uniqueness and diversity of Aboriginal students. She provided access to education for Aboriginals (McBain?Rigg & Veitch, 2017). She took lead to address the conditions of the poor health status of Indigenous population, low literacy rate, high suicide rates, and low education levels because of which they live for fewer years than the non-indigenous population with the involvement of government (Zander, Botzen, Oppermann, Kjellstrom & Garnett, 2015).

Ways in which Registered Nurse/ Midwife provides a culturally safe environment

As described by the UN bodies, the healthcare system should work irrespective of any discrimination based on caste, creed, sex, culture, race, religion and economic status (McBain?Rigg & Veitch, 2017). The health system works on the concept of 'Universal Health Coverage'. It means everyone has equal rights for access to medical services globally. They provide services with the best possible quality care with a high level of confidentiality and privacy of information. The nursing professionals and midwives do not disclose any type of information regarding the patient with anyone (Gwynne & Lincoln, 2017). The highly trained staff is allocated in the healthcare institutions that serve with the best outcomes and lead to the patient as well as staff satisfaction. The morals and ethics in the healthcare system hold the staff to deliver their services professionally. Moreover, the nursing personnel ensure to provide the care as per stated in the guidelines to Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders without any discrimination and high-end of quality (Marley et al., 2017).


Hence, after learning from literature and being impressed by the role of ironing lady Lynda Burlin, I ensure that in my nursing practice I will not do any type of discrimination and deliver my best services to improve the overall health of people. I hope that such practices are adopted by other nursing professionals as well as this will help improve the healthcare outcomes of the non-Indigenous population while disease burden will be reduced by providing care.


Browne, J., Leeuw, E., Gleeson, D., Adams, K., Atkinson, P., & Hayes, R. (2017). A network approach to policy framing: a case study of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan. Social Science & Medicine172, 10-18.

Goodman, A., Fleming, K., Markwick, N., Morrison, T., Lagimodiere, L., Kerr, T., & Society, W. A. H. R. (2017). “They treated me like crap and I know it was because I was Native”: The healthcare experiences of Aboriginal peoples living in Vancouver's inner city. Social Science & Medicine178, 87-94.

Gwynne, K., & Lincoln, M. (2017). Developing the rural health workforce to improve Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health outcomes: a systematic review. Australian Health Review41(2), 234-238.

Marley, J. V., Kotz, J., Engelke, C., Williams, M., Stephen, D., Coutinho, S., & Trust, S. K. (2017). Validity and acceptability of Kimberley mum's mood scale to screen for perinatal anxiety and depression in remote aboriginal health care settings. PloS ONE12(1).

McBain?Rigg, K. E., & Veitch, C. (2017). Cultural barriers to health care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in Mount Isa. Australian Journal of Rural Health19(2), 70-74.

Zander, K. K., Botzen, W. J., Oppermann, E., Kjellstrom, T., & Garnett, S. T. (2015). Heat stress causes substantial labour productivity loss in Australia. Nature Climate Change5(7), 647-651.

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