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Contemporary Australian Health Care

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Contemporary Australian Health Care

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Discuss about the Contemporary Australian Health Care Charlie’s Country.

Based on the statement “The treatment Charlie received in hospital contributed to his ultimate jail sentence and if anyone had thought to put him in touch with an Aboriginal health service, he probably would have been alright,” my argument agrees with the statement. In the movie “Charlie’s Country,” the protagonist, Charlie is depicted as a poor or destitute character that experiences different challenges in his own country. Charlie is also admitted to Darwin Hospital due to an acute episode of pneumonia as his character presents understanding on the key problems faced by the Aboriginal people in Australia such as inadequate access to quality and reliable healthcare services which are also culturally safe (Awofeso, 2011). The movie also presents Charlie as a victim of different challenges in life which significantly contributed to his medical condition and admission in the healthcare setting. Charlie believes the White people have taken away his position, house, and aboriginal land. For example, he asks the white aid worker why he has a house, job, and aboriginal land while Charlie doesn’t. The movie depicts the Australian Aboriginal experience such as constant abuse from the arrogant whites and failure to understand their grievances. The study draws upon theory and different studies on the issue to demonstrate how the treatment Charlie received in hospital contributed to his ultimate jail sentence and the idea that Aboriginal health service would have helped him recover (Marmot, 2011).
One of the conspicuous elements of the movie had been the vulnerability of the aboriginals and the health risks that they experience, and Charlie had been a fitting example of the fate of the aboriginal individuals when it comes receiving adequate health care. Instead of the care and treatment helping the patient to achieving recovery it rather sent him back to the old ways that he used to live his life, and ultimately resulted in the jail sentence served to him. From the movie it can be easily identified that the care provided to the patient or Charlie, has neither been culturally competent nor compassionate, despite both of these factors being two integral elements of nursing care within a context of culturally diverse population. Along with that it has to be mentioned, that communication is one of the basic needs when it comes to health care delivery and in the scenario provided in the movie describes a situation where basic communication is completely absent due to the language barrier and ingrained animosity and negative perception in both the aboriginal patient and the non aboriginal health care staff against one another. According to Paradies, Harris & Anderson (2008), communication is a key element necessary in understanding the patient’s problem as well as effectively providing instructions on medication which also promotes compliance or adherence (Paradies, Harris & Anderson,  2008). Here in this scenario, the health care professionals could not communicate with the patient effectively and the lack of mutual respect also contributed in restricting the patient in complying with the instructions he had been given. Based on the movie, it was pivotal for the healthcare providers to have effective communication skills with the patient in order to understand the risk factors such as the lack of housing and proper diet. However, the situation presented the notion that the quality of care provided was not evidence-based or patient-based care thus limiting the chances of positive outcomes compared to a situation where the patient would have received optimal treatment from Aboriginal health care services (Howard et al., 2014). Another important factor that was discovered in this situation is that the care pattern and the treatment provided to the patient had not complemented the collaborative health care practice at all.  Although, the collaborative approach to care would have been effective in the situation in order to enhance understanding of the patient’s problem as well as establish a good relationship with the patient and positive perception of the care provided (Behrendt & Fraser, 2013).
One of the greatest challenges that the patient experience in the case scenario had been the ideologies and pre-existing anger at the non aboriginal “white” health care professionals in the patient. Charlie had deep rooted anger at the white individuals as his perception blamed the non aboriginals for taking away his land, his home and his professional opportunities. According to Flood (2006), the patient’s perception of the healthcare service provided as well as the health professionals significantly influence their outcomes as well as their ability to effectively adhere to the medication or instructions provided in the healthcare settings (Flood, 2006). One solution to this chaotic situation could have been assigning Charlie to an Aboriginal health service, as that would have helped the patient communicate his grievances and cooperate with the health care professionals and generate a mutually respectful relationship between the health care professionals.
The policies regarding aboriginal health and wellbeing have changed drastically in the past decade and the recent additions to the policies safeguard the interest of the aboriginals to a large extent (McGregor, 2011). Considering the history of the policies regarding the health and wellbeing of the aboriginals, a huge number of times the policies have changed and these changes have impacted the nursing care and treatment for the aboriginals. On a more elaborative note, it has to be considered that overall effort for improving the health and wellbeing of the aboriginals had been seriously lacking until the start of late 19th centuries and the first of the policy changes have occurred during the 1997. These changes were only centred on the need for the increasing the funds for improving the treatment and care delivery status for the aboriginals. Ever since, the policies have changed periodically and each amendment has incorporated more details on the protocols to adhere to when caring for an aboriginal patient. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research Agenda Working Group was established around 1997 to overlook the policy amendments and safeguard the best interests of the aboriginals when it came to health policies along with the indigenous health review panel. Each year afterwards, the aboriginal health and wellbeing policies have been modified based on the needs and current health priorities (Paradies, Harris & Anderson,  2008). Considering the last recent changes, the most of the emphasis had been on child mortality and women health and wellbeing, but policy amendments in this sector has articulated a few details; first and foremost aboriginal health rights provide an aboriginal with the opportunity to avail free of cost primary health services and vaccination, along with that the patient is eligible for culturally competent care services along with language assistance and interpreters for effective communication. Despite the benefits that the policy changes could incorporate into the context of health and well being of the patients, the compliance with these policies continue to be a rising issue. The contributing factors behind the non-compliance or lack of compliance had been discovered to be the lack of clear knowledge about the aboriginal health needs, the barrier of language and culture and the preconceived discrimination towards the aboriginals. Amalgamation of all these interrelated factors has played fundamental parts in the inadequate care and behaviour that the patient received from the patient (Simpson, 2009). Hence it can be stated that regardless of the amendments in the policy and protocol over the past two decades benefiting the aboriginals, the real scenario of the health of natives in Australia have not improved as per expectations.
When discussing aboriginal health rights, one cannot overlook mentioning the national aboriginal community controlled health organization or NACCHO, the national peak body overlooking and representing the community controlled health services across all of Australia (NACCHO, 2017). NACCHO was established in the year 1974 in Albury and ever since it has been a highly functional authority in designing and overlooking the health rights and care delivery for the native aboriginals. There are close to 142 ACCHS operations across the rural, urban and regional remote Australian regions and each one attempts to provide culturally competent and compassionate primary health care services to the aboriginals. The health care services that these operations provide keep the philosophy of the aboriginal culture at the heart of the treatment process and attempt to provide care in a holistic manner. Hence if Charlie had been taken to one such service, it can be hoped that his story could not have reached such drastic and tragic conclusion (Schultz et al., 2010).
One of the major factors when considering aboriginal health and wellbeing is the need for collaborative care, under the strength based approach scheme for aboriginal health. The strength based approach is one of the most emerging health care approaches that takes into account the strengths of different individuals within the team of health care professionals in hopes of providing the optimal care and treatment services utilizing the expertise and strengths of the health care professionals (NACCHO, 2017). The importance of collaborative or partner based approach in the health care delivery for the aboriginals can be explained by the differential needs of the aboriginals. It has to be understood that the traditional healing concepts are dear to the aboriginals and these patients often resist trying the modern treatment techniques and interventions. In order to provide culturally competent care for these patients it is extremely important to incorporate traditional healing techniques even if just to reassure the patients. Language interpreters are other important parts of the collaborative care for the patients, along with the specialists of a multidisciplinary health care team. Taking Charlie as an example for designing a collaborative partnership approach, a multidisciplinary team with different heath care experts need to be joined by cultural safety officers and language interpreters and if possible health care professionals belonging to the aboriginal background (NACCHO, 2017).
The movie presents the idea that Charlie would have significantly benefited from an Aboriginal community care facility which has the potential to deliver quality and reliable healthcare services the focuses on the patient’s needs as well as risk factors to promote positive outcomes. Some of the services that Charlie would receive in a tertiary facility within Brisbane area like Logan hospital involve holistic health care in order to enhance the health and well-being of the aboriginal people. The facility within the area can further provide care based on the patient’s age in order to enhance their safety, social and emotional well-being (Zubrick et al., 2010). The care rights that Charlie would find in an aboriginal community acre facility like Logan hospital include:

The right to communicate and retain their cultural believes, the aboriginal health care services guidelines state that each patient will have different cultural believes ideas and perception and each patient will be allowed to communicate and retain their cultural preferences when availing care (qld.gov.au, 2017).
Culturally capable care, the guidelines suggest that an aboriginal and his cultural beliefs should prioritized and respected at all times. Hence Charlie in a facility like this will have a culturally competent health care staff, p0referrably from the aboriginal background with whom he can easily communicate and generate a mutually respectful relationship.
A culturally safe environment while his stay in the facility, influenced by the aboriginal artwork and lifestyle standards to help him be as comfortable and culturally content as possible (qld.gov.au, 2017).
The assistance and supervision of language interpreters, aboriginal community liaison officers to safeguard his best interests, and if demanded the aid of traditional healers.
Legal consenting procedure, where Charlie will be communicated about the treatment activities and medication if it has the potential to threaten the cultural believes of the patient (qld.gov.au, 2017).

On a concluding note, it can be said that the lack of these components of culturally safe care delivery, which is a health care right of an aboriginal patient belonging to Australia, had led to the unfortunately tragic consequences for Charlie, the patient under consideration in the case study. Hence, it is clear that if these services had been provided to the patient he could have gained speedy recovery and could have improved ton a much better lifestyle altogether.
Awofeso, N. (2011). Racism: a major impediment to optimal Indigenous health and health care in Australia. Australian indigenous health bulletin, 11(3), 1-8.
Bartlett, A. (2002). The aboriginal peoples of Australia. Minneapolis: Lerner.
Behrendt, L., & Fraser, M. (2013). Indigenous australia for dummies. Hoboken, N.J: John Wiley & Sons.
Durey, A, McEvoy, S,  Swift-Otero, V, Taylor, K, Katzenellenbogen, J & Bessarab, D (2016).  Improving healthcare for Aboriginal Australians through effective        engagement between community and health services. BMC Health Services Research, 16:224. Retrieved from  https://bmchealthservres.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12913-016-1497-0
Flood, J. (2006). The original Australians: Story of the Aboriginal people. Crows Nest, N.S.W: Allen & Unwin.
Howard, M., Ingram, S., Liu, H., Mentha, R., & Peiris, D. (2014). To your door: Factors that influence Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples seeking care. Kanyini Qualitative       Study Monograph Series, 1.
Jang, H. S. (2015). Social identities of young indigenous people in contemporary Australia: Neo colonial North, Yarrabah. Cham: Springer.
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Loftus, S. (2013). Educating health professionals: Becoming a university teacher. Rotterdam :  Sense Publishers
Markwick, A., Ansari, Z., Sullivan, M., Parsons, L., & McNeil, J. (2014). Inequalities in the    social determinants of health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People: a cross-    sectional population-based study in the Australian state of Victoria. International journal   for equity in health, 13(1), 91.
Marmot, M. (2011). Social determinants and the health of Indigenous Australians. Med J Aust, 194(10), 512-3.
McGregor, R. (2011). Indifferent inclusion: Aboriginal people and the Australian nation.Canberra: Aboriginal Studies Press.
NACCHO – National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation. (2017). NACCHO. Retrieved 2 September 2017, from https://www.naccho.org.au
Paradies, Y., Harris, R., & Anderson, I. (2008). The impact of racism on Indigenous health in Australia and Aotearoa: Towards a research agenda. Cooperative Research Centre for    Aboriginal Health.
Rural and Remote Clinical Support Unit | Queensland Health. (2017). Health.qld.gov.au. Retrieved 2 September 2017, from https://www.health.qld.gov.au/rrcsu
Schultz, C., Walker, R., Bessarab, D., McMillan, F., MacLeod, J., & Marriott, R. (2010)          Interdisciplinary Care to Enhance Mental Health and Social and Emotional   Wellbeing. Working Together, 221.
Simpson, A. (2009, May). Improving the health of rural and remote Aboriginal communities   through state-      wide education and employment initiatives. In 10th National Rural Health       Conference (pp. 17-20).
Zubrick, S. R., Dudgeon, P., Gee, G., Glaskin, B., Kelly, K., Paradies, Y., … & Walker, R.     (2010). Social determinants of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander social and emotional             wellbeing. Working together: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health and    wellbeing principles and practice, 75-90.

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