Social Determinants of Health in Aborigines

1814 Words8 Pages
Aboriginal health is majorly determined by several social factors that are related to their cultural beliefs. Health professionals regularly find it difficult to provide health care to aboriginal people due to the cultural disparity that exists between the conventional and aboriginal cultures, predominantly with regard to systems of health belief (Carson, Dunbar, & Chenhall, 2007). The discrepancy between the aboriginal culture and typical Western customs seems to amplify the difficulties experienced in every cross-cultural setting of health service delivery (Selin & Shapiro, 2003). Most of the social determinants of the aboriginal health are due to their strict belief in superstition and divine intervention.
Firstly, gender disparity plays a significant role in aboriginal health, especially in the administration of health care. In Aboriginal culture, there are certain health practices that can only be done by either men or women, but not all (Bonvillain, 2001). In most cases, women are treated by their female counterparts whereas male doctors handle male patients. This means that a male doctor cannot undertake a vaginal inspection and a female nurse cannot teach an aboriginal man about self-catheterization. As a result, a breach of this traditional gender division, for instance a male doctor helping a woman in emergencies, is likely to cause shame, distress, depression, and fear of breaking a particular taboo (Freud, 2000).
Secondly, the customary health beliefs of the aboriginal populace are interrelated with numerous characteristics of their customs such as kinship obligations, land policies, and religion (Boulton-Lewis, Pillay, Wilss, & Lewis, 2002). The socio-medical structure of health beliefs, which the aboriginal people...

... middle of paper ...

...s. New York, NY: Springer.
Shahid, S., Finn, L., Bessarab, D., & Thompson, S. C. (2009). Understanding, beliefs and perspectives of Aboriginal people in Western Australia about cancer and its impact on access to cancer. BMC Health Services Research, 9, 1-9.
Taylor, K., & Guerin, P. (2010). Health care and indigenous Australians. Crows Nest, NSW: Macmillan Education Publishers.
Thomson, N. (2005). Cultural respect and related concepts: A brief summary of the literature. Australian Indigenous Health Bulletin, 5, 1-11.
Warry, W. (2008). Ending denial: Understanding Aboriginal issues. Toronto, ON: University of Toronto Press.
Wilkinson, R. G., & Marmot, M. G. (2003). Social determinants of health: The solid facts. Washington, DC: World Health Organization.
World Health Organization. (2014). Poverty. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/topics/poverty/en/
Open Document