Determinants of Health in Australia Essay.

Determinants of Health in Australia Essay.


In esteem to the ever increasing in longevity and growth of people, healthcare delivery has turned into a challenging subject. This confrontation may attribute to the government’s policy on professional medical delivery and the inaccessibility of medical care facilities by some underprivileged communities. In Australia, lots of people are put through different varieties of socio-economic down sides such as low interpersonal status, unemployment, remoteness, and communication hurdle that prevent them from the gain access to proper medical care services. In recognising these public factors, various health campaign methods are developed to enhance the existing conditions and reduce the health inequality. These socio-economical factors and methods are being talked about.Determinants of Health in Australia Essay.



Australia medical system has been adopting a normal bio-medical model with doctors’ dominance over the decision making process (Baer, 2008). The financing mechanism for health services is through the Federal Government, State, Territory and Local governments, health insurers, individuals and a diversity of other options. The service providers include different doctors, allied medical researchers from consumer and private hospitals, clinic and other government or non-government organizations. With the advantages of Medicare, a publicly funded general health care plan, in 1984; and the enforcement of Medicare levy in 1996 and 2007 by the Labour federal; Medicare is currently one of the primary vehicles in financing healthcare services (Duckett and Willcox2011, p41).Determinants of Health in Australia Essay.

Determinants of health

Determinant of health is a factor or quality that contributes to the health results, either for the better or for the worse (Reidpath, 2004). In 2003, the entire world Health Company (WHO) has recognized ten major communal health determinants: the social gradient, stress; early life; cultural exclusion; work; unemployment; cultural support; addiction; food and transport. The critical determinants are being categorised to socioeconomic, income inequality, ethnicity and gender factors in aspect.Determinants of Health in Australia Essay.


Socioeconomic determinant is the major cause for the inequality of health. It consists of social, ethnical and gender role factors and is recognized as a factor that folks are born, grow, live or work and grow older regarding health system. This determinant is constrained by the distribution of funds, electricity and resources at local, nationwide and global level, and are affected by the choice of policy.

Socio-economic position (SES) is a blended total way of measuring a a person’s economic and communal position in relation to the society predicated on income, wealth, level of education, social effect, occupation and employment position. Harris et al. (2004) argued that socioeconomically disadvantaged groupings are less likely to utilise age-appropriate immunisation and also to participate cancer screening process programs. According to Reidpath (2004), folks of less SES generally have a poorer health outcome than those of the bigger SES (Duckett and Willcox 2011. p31). Likewise, folks of more socio-economically disadvantaged countries generally have sicker human population than those of less socio-economically disadvantaged countries (Reidpath, 2004), because poverty restricts the capability of a person to get access for essentials such as food, nutrition and transfer, education and other appropriate healthcare, hence an inequality in accessing health facilities.

Income inequality

“Absolute riches” is undoubtedly an important determinant of health. Research has shown there’s a poorer health results in the areas of higher income inequality than the income of the lower inequality area (Reidpath, 2004). The psychosocial interpretation argues that is because of the mental stress that directs visitors to express their conception for the unfairness and inequality of the population. Notwithstanding some stress may be positive to health, psychosocial description recognises an extended contact with such a stress may present risk to health hence increase the mortality and morbidity rate. In fact, research has uncovered that patients of low occupational status obtain 21% less amount of time in healthcare services than patients from higher occupational teams (Wiggers and Sanson-Fisher, 1997).

Alternatively, the neo-materialists describe the indegent health end result of the disadvantaged group is basically because less investment has been made on public infrastructure in their unequal society they reside in, for example, real estate, transportation and health services. Therefore, an unhealthy health results is resulted from a mixture of inadequacy in resources in providing health. Hence, the wider the gap between your income and public status, a lot more the inequality prevails in the ease of access for health.Determinants of Health in Australia Essay.


Australian population consists of multi ethnicities that surviving in a diverse linguistic and ethnical background. The difficulties in accessing health care may due to ethnical, communication hurdle or racism that compounds with social-economic or physical impacts, specifically for the Indigenous Australia surviving in the remote areas. Culture pertains to customs, custom and beliefs of the family and community. Cultural support may provide positive support that lead to a wholesome health outcome. Cultural barrier is out there in ethnic categories owing to the divergence in the expectation on the standard of health insurance and the lack of confidence towards european medical interventions. In fact, the indigenous society acquired an age-standardised death rate at least twice that of the non-indigenous populace to non-indigenous (Duckett and Willcox 2011. p33). Besides, communication obstacles are reported as a reason behind misdiagnosis, unacceptable of medication, or poor conformity of treatment (Taylor et. al, 2013). Specifically, racism may occur as ethnic groupings are sometimes being stereotyped as homogenous, for example: shorter duration of appointment for a specific ethnicity anticipated to assumed medical illiteracy. Further, communication hurdle may cause a suggested treatment to result in a conflict. This has rendered medical interventions to be ineffective a good disadvantaged group comes with an opportunity to gain access to health facilities, the services cannot be completely utilised. Therefore, the Country wide Indigenous Reform Contract was agreed upon in November 2008 to monitor the outcome of Indigenous people (Duckett and Willcox2011. p. 33).Determinants of Health in Australia Essay.


Epidemiology reveals there’s a significant difference in medical status between women and men, as some diseases are gender specific. Also, different gender may have problems with different disease at different phases under different conditions. Generally, guys are less actively to seek for procedures for the same health problem; more likely to participate in violence and high risk or drug related activities (Duckett and Willcox2011. p30) and even more exposed to occupational risks. Therefore, women have a longer life expectancy than men (Duckett and Willcox2011. p. 22). However, women tend to be vulnerable for chronic condition credited to aging. Traditional medical tactics have attributed women’s ailments to behavioural lapses. Also, making love preference is manifested in discrimination against female children in healthcare setting. Regarding women’s role function, matrimony and child bearing responsibility has exposed women to the complications of varied gynaecological problems. Further, women involved in home treatment duty has prevented them from taking time off for medical. They also lack of 3rd party income, hence lack of autonomy and decision-making vitality on treatment plans(Okojie, 1994). Each one of these reasons have made women a disadvantaged group in being able to access healthcare.Determinants of Health in Australia Essay.

Health Promotion

In order to take control over medical determinants, health advertising strategies have been developed after the WHO 1986 Ottawa Charter for Health Advertising Seminar (Lin and Fawkes. 2007). In Australia, the commonwealth, National, State and Municipality are sensible in developing, planning, legislating, enforcing, coordinating and allocation of funding for health advertising. Other organizations includes the inter-sectoral company such as local council; the non-government organisations such as some community based mostly self-help teams, for example, National Heart Basis; consumer advocacy groups; pharmaceutical and health product marketing organisation. However, additionally it is an individual’s responsibility to keep themselves within an maximum and healthy condition.

Three techniques in health promotion are mentioned below.

Medical Approach


This approach aims at the minimisation of morbidity and early mortality and is also a directed at the entire society or the determined risky group.


The health promotion activity includes the promotion of medical intervention to prevent or improve ill-health through lots of medical methods. Primarily prevention is usually to be performed on preventing onset of disease through appointment, for example, measuring body mass, immunisation; stimulating non-smoking. The supplementary prevention is targeted on the preventing of progression of disease such as screening. The tertiary prevention is targeted at reducing further disability those have a medical condition, for instance, treatment, patient education or palliative treatment.Determinants of Health in Australia Essay.

The level of popularity of medical way lays on the career of clinical method such as epidemiology where habits, causes, and ramifications of health and disease conditions are looked into in described populations. This process advocates the idea of early avoidance and recognition of diseases being far better than treatment. This plan is controlled with a top-down strategy and led by medical experts, then reinforced by other medical care professionals (WHO, 1996)


This strategy reduces the mortality and morbidity rate through preventative and curative steps. It has been claimed to be an overpowering success from the past, for example, the eradication of smallpox since 1977 (WHO. 2014). This approach also seeks medical and scientific research as a guide for the intervention of medical defined problems. So that it provides a good direction for individuals lacking medical knowledge on the procedure process.Determinants of Health in Australia Essay.


Base on the traditional biomedical model, this approach has stressed on the prevention of disease alternatively than promoting the health status, as the avoidance procedure requires a logical rationale produced from epidemiological evidence, this process depends seriously on medical knowledge and the compliance of treatment and the capability of the medical infrastructure in providing screen or immunisation programme. Further, it includes overlooked the interpersonal and environmental determinants of health and has ignored the health decisions being made from the concerned get together and induces medical paternalism. (WHO, 1996)Determinants of Health in Australia Essay.

Lifestyle/behavior approach


These methodology emphases on general public illness somewhat than public health. It mainly targets individual or targeted communities whose communal situation or behaviour at the risk of developing bad lifestyle that may cause serious health problem, such as smoking, mal-nutrition problems, physical inactiveness or drug abuse. It motivates individuals to take responsibility of their own health and choose healthier lifestyle. The theory is to change the behavior of the tiny portion of the population to effect the behaviour of almost all.

This methodology bases on the three assumptions. First of all, people have to see health as a property of people and the major cause of morbidity and mortality are poor lifestyle choice. Second of all, right health information being conveyed to a person will effectively encourage visitors to change their behaviour and attitude. Thirdly, the provision of health services and health employees may cause this society to attain a better health end result (Cockerham and Niemann, 2000).


The method is based on communication, education, persuasion and inspiration. Promotion tools are health education and cultural marketing, for example, advertising campaign promotions; websites to advocate healthier lifestyle such as “Quitnow” for smokers.


This approach takes a preventative measure to encourage a behavioural change that lead to a reduction of risk factor which benefits an individual and the society. That is a self-help strategy where a person’s health can be managed without seeking extra professional associate. It is also a self-care program which offers care for oneself, a family member or a friend rather than involving the traditional health care facilities. Thus it can be performed without medical intervention at the very least cost.


This way inclines to blame an individual for his or her poor health. It assumes that behavior change is the sole responsibility of the individual who will rectify their health behaviour when the relevant health information is provided, without considering if they are able to change. It also assumes the “victim-blaming” factor for the approach to life is positively chosen, without considering the constraint they need to face under some environmental and sociable issue (WHO, 1996). It further fails to take into account the social context and the main factors such as monetary, political and cultural environment that resulted in the choice. Duff (1994). This approach is also disadvantaged by the an uneven circulation of health costs in public areas health (2%) and Community health (5%) (Duckett and Willcox2011. p. 47). Therefore someone who reaches risk might not exactly have the ability to acquire appropriate resources. Also, as the success of the strategy can only be evaluated after a long period of involvement, it is also impracticable to isolate any behavior change as attributable to a health promotion intervention.Determinants of Health in Australia Essay.

New Community Health Approach


The aim of this approach is to reduce the inequalities in health position of all people, by taking into account of the interpersonal, financial and environment factors in line with the WHO’s Ottawa Charter 1986 (Lin and Fawkes, 2007). This process looks for the amalgamation of the traditions medical, lifestyle, educational, empowerment, interpersonal change approaches a healthy public policy to build the social, economical and environmental conditions for healthy living.Determinants of Health in Australia Essay.


Recognition of Sociable Determinants

It recognises the interpersonal determinant, that is, cultural conditions and resources for basic in increasing health in population such as calmness, shelter, education, food, income, stable eco system, lasting resource and equity that impose on people’s health status.

Community Participation

It targets people and their neighborhoods, recognises the local needs of subgroups within the population, highlights the significance of multi-social areas’ contribution to effect health in people and encourage working mutually for healthier conditions.


Individual empowerment is dependant on counselling and encourage individuals to play dynamic part in your choice making course. This empowerment may be accomplished through education on health information, developing skills in recognising their need, providing a potential for expressing their judgment on the issue of health impact, encouraging those to work and communicate with health professionals through a variety of economic and public support Labonte. (1994). Community empowerment relates to promote communities in insurance plan making, prioritising and applying of health strategies in order increase control and improve their health.Determinants of Health in Australia Essay.


This approach accommodates all individuals of the healthcare system of general public health, provides supports for disadvantaged categories, invites joint participation, and enables a better communication between a person and the community. Therefore individuals and organisations could work co-operatively on major decisions and monitoring the outcome of some strategies (Mckie, 2007) to meet needs. Besides, it provides a framework for long term social, economic and political environment and lead to a much better control of a person’s health status in just a broader sociable and economic platform in attaining better health result.


This approach has blurred the prominent objective of health campaign as it combines other campaign procedure (Awofeso, 2004). Also, as empowerment is a long term process, it is difficult to evaluate the outcome and then the final result is hard to identify and quantify. Further, this approach is disadvantaged by the historically set up biomedical orientated health care setting. Based on the 2007/08 health expenditure analysis, nearly all resources has been allocated in public hospital(39%) and medical services (19%) and Pharmaceutical (14%), departing 2% allocated for People health insurance and 5% for community health and other (Duckett and Willcox2011. p 47).

The Role of Health Professionals

In view of the new general public health methodology, the functions of medical researchers have involved into a broader diversity. For instance, in working with diabetes, a persistent condition that imposes a significant burden to the Australian contemporary society, various medical researchers can appoint a leader and collaborate as a shared-care team. As the consulting doctors prescribe treatments; lab professional help pathology records on blood sugar level; medical record specialists maintain records; clinic or community or nurses look after patients by monitoring their conformity of medication; pharmacists supply and review on medications; physiotherapists formulate physical exercises to encourage activities; nutritionists formulate healthful eating, the psychologists measure the psychological effect on patients. Besides, these professionals can share and provide educational information to the patient on a wholesome lifestyle through promotional programs. The role of health promote is to assist in and catalyse their drive. Together with the non-medical organisation, social workers help to liaise with different organisations for special needs. Other non-profit company such as Diabetic Australia helps patients to battle their conditions through self-management programs. Throughout the establishment of an good communication network and the productive dedication of different health or non-health pros, the patients or risk groupings have the opportunity of increasing their management skill, growing strategies and showing illness trajectories ends up with building the community’s common understanding towards serious conditions. (Patel et al. 2000).Determinants of Health in Australia Essay.


Despite the government’s intention to reform on the existing health system, impediments are anticipated due to uneven resources allocation; the dominance on doctor’s power, the amount of resistance to innovation, combined by the political factors since the establishment of the health care system. General public health is not a monopolised business; it requires the control, cooperativeness, and obligations of all levels to get involved. With the release of MEDICAL Reform and Ration 2013 that advised a transformation of the tradition bio-medical to the socio-economical health care delivery model. It is anticipated that there will be improvement on the gain access to on medical care services.Determinants of Health in Australia Essay.