Cultural Diversity- Cultural Group - Case Study - Assessment Answer

December 21, 2017
Author : Ashley Simons

Solution Code: 1ABGH

Question:Cultural Diversity

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Cultural Diversity Assignment

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Introduction

The likelihood of experiencing good mental and physical health throughout life within the Australian population is far from being distributed evenly. The aspect of health depends on conditions that enable individuals to live lives on their own terms (Campinha-Bacote, 2013). Inequalities in society result to inequalities in health. Little differences in society lead to little inequalities in health while on the other hand, large health inequalities are as a result of large differences in society. Cultural diversity is the key determinant of social inequalities in health since culture is determined by the environment in which individuals are born, grow, live, work, and age (Markwik et al., 2014). Australia is a country that is rich with diverse cultures. Chinese Australians and Filipino Australians are examples of the different cultures in Australia.

Case Study 1

Chinese Australians are Australians that can trace their roots back to china. Australians from the Chinese culture have evolved from being mainly contract labourers in the 19th century to one of the most well-established as well as highly educated communities in the current Australia(Chinese Australian Community, 2015). Although they currently make up a small fraction of the total Australian population, majority of them enjoy improved social determinants of health and can therefore access health services. In addition, the number of Chinese Australians who suffer from long term illnesses is lower in contrast to that of most cultures Australians(Chinese Australian Community, 2015). A social determinant in the health status of Chinese Australians is educational attainment. The majority of Chinese people in Australia have high academic attainments and, therefore, have an improved capacity to use health information (Williams et al., 2013). This knowledge on health enables them to differentiate positive and negative aspects in their lifestyles and the impacts of these aspects on their health. With this information, most of them are able to make an informed decision on how they can improve their health(Williams et al., 2013).

With elevated educational achievements, most of Chinese individuals are employed and receive high incomes. Being employed and having substantial incomes gives Chinese individuals enjoy security to access improved health services as well as indulge in healthy lifestyles(Chan, 2009). Most Chinese individuals also have access to improved housing systems. The relationship between housing and health is multi-directional since living in poor quality, insecure, and inadequate housing is linked with poor health outcomes. Poor health hardware has the potential to generate risks to health which can result to problems to physical health such as infectious diseases. Most Chinese individuals live in communities with proper housing facilities. In addition, they have access to health care and health infrastructure which includes proper sewerage system, clean and safe water for drinking, as well as rubbish collection services(Chan, 2009).

The broader cultural, social, and economic environments that Chinese individuals live in have had positive health outcomes on majority of them.However, there is still a significant number of Chinese Australians who are overweight and obese. This is because some of them are so indulged in their work that they fail to take part in any form of physical activity Fisher, et al., 2016). In addition, due to lack of time to prepare healthy and nutritious meals, they end up buying take-out food that has high cholesterol. Due to the pressure that comes with over working, a substantial number of Chinese Americans have indulged in smoking as well as unhealthy consumption of alcohol (Australia’s Health, 2014).

Most of the individuals from the Chinese Australian culture face reduced health related risks as most of them are economically stable and are able to visit health centres for regular check-ups(Chan, 2009). In addition, they are educationally empowered and, therefore, are able to make informed decisions on how to live healthy lives. With a substantial amount of the Chinese Australian population indulging in poor nutrition and less physical activity due to work related pressures, they face the risk of developing chronic diseases such as hypertension and diabetes, which are related with being overweight or obese(Australia’s Health, 2014).Moreover, there is still a substantial fraction of Australians from the Chinese culture that have taken up smoking and unhealthy alcohol consumption. Continues smoking for an elongated period of time puts these individuals at risk of developing cancer of lungs, nose, mouth, throat, kidney, liver, pancreas, bladder, ovary, bone marrow as well as cancer of the stomach. In addition, they are at risk of developing lung problems such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis(Newman et al., 2015).They are also at risk of suffering a heart attack, or a heart attack and stroke. Long term consumption of alcohol also puts these individuals at risk of developing serious health problems and chronic diseases including heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, digestive problems and liver disease(Australia’s Health, 2014).

In an effort to eradicate or manage health risks that are associated with being overweight and obese, as well as smoking and consumption of alcohol, the Australian government in association with health care organizations across the country have taken initiatives to promote awareness on the importance of adopting healthy lifestyles such as proper nutrition and participation in physical activities(Australia’s Health, 2014). They have also taken the initiative to create awareness on the risks that come with long term smoking and alcohol consumption(Australia’s Health, 2014). However, the government of Australia and health organizations across the country should develop strategies on how individuals with smoking and alcohol problems can be rehabilitated to either stop or manage these unhealthy lifestyles.

Case Study 2

Filipino Australians are Australians with Filipino ancestry. Research shows that they are the fifth largest subgroup of Overseas Filipinos (Filipino Community, 2015). Inequality in numerous social factors has contributed to inequality in health among Australians from Filipino culture (Australia’s Health, 2014). Most important determinants include lack of equity in the access to basic health care as well as the diminished average of health infrastructure in Filipino populations.Individuals from Filipino communities in Australia lack equal chances to be as healthy as individuals from the rest of the Australian population (Shepherd et al., 2012). This is due to the fact that Filipino individuals experience a relative socioeconomic disadvantage in contrast to the rest of the cultures in Australia and this, therefore, puts them at an increased risk of exposure to both environmental as well as behavioural health risk factors. In addition, Filipino individuals also lack equal access to basic health care and health infrastructure which is inclusive of effective sewerage systems, clean and safe drinking water, health housing, as well as rubbish collection services. Despite there being little improvement of some measures in the health status of Filipino individuals over the past years, they still are far from marching the swift health gains made by the general Australian population. Systemic discrimination has been linked to the inequality in health status experienced by the Filipino population in Australia. Historically, people from Filipino cultural backgrounds in Australia have not experienced equal opportunities to match the health status of Australians from most cultures (Filipino Community, 2015). This has been primarily due to poor access to mainstream services, as well as reduced access to health services, which is inclusive of basic health care, and lack of adequate provision of health infrastructure in some Filipino communities(Filipino Community, 2015).

Research exhibits that individuals from Filipino cultural backgrounds in Australia are socioeconomically disadvantaged on all key indicators. Their poor education and literacy is linked to their poor health status as it affects their capacity to use health information(Donato& Segal, 2013). Poor income diminishes their accessibility to medicine and healthcare services. These individuals live in overcrowded and run-down housing which increases the spread of communicable diseases. In addition, the relatively permanent and negative nature of the social surrounding can initiate chronic stress. Through various hormonal pathways, this can have impacts on the body’s immune and circulatory systems as well as metabolic functions and is therefore linked to an array of health problems, especially circulatory system related diseases, which are at the moment, the biggest killers of the Filipino population in Australia(Maneze, DiGiacomo, & Davidson, 2015).

In terms of poor health lifestyles, research shows that the smoking rate among Filipino individuals is relatively high compared to non-Filipino individuals. In addition to smoking, this number was also slightly higher when it came to the consumption of alcohol and the use of other illicit substances (Australia's Health, 2014). The number of overweight and obese individuals among the Filipino population is also high. Studies also show that people from the Australian Filipino culture have poor nutrition since they indulge in poor eating habits. In addition to poor nutrition, over 62% of individuals above the age of 18 in the Australian Filipino population reported no or low level of physical activity (Australia's Health, 2014). These poor health lifestyles among the Filipino population in Australia have exposed them even more to an array of health problems.

Considering their poor housing conditions, Filipino Australians are at risk of developing infections, and communicable infections have been proved to thrive and spread in such an environment. Living in environments with poor sewerage systems and lack of safe water to drink puts this population at risk of developing diseases. In addition, the access of health services Filipino Australians is poor. This poor access may be due to poor access to health infrastructure or financial constraints that may make it difficult for these individuals to access proper health care. This means that most of these individuals may suffer from diseases for a long time without getting medical assistance, and this may be detrimental to their health status.This puts the whole of Australia’s population at a health risk of developing chronic diseases. In addition, the number of overweight and obese Filipino Australians is high, therefore, putting this population at risk of developing chronic diseases that may be detrimental to their health status. Moreover, the number of Filipino Australians who indulge in lifestyles that expose their health status to risks, such as smoking and alcohol consumption, is still high and the number is feared to be on the rise.

With a lot of risk factors to the health of Filipino Australians being in play, strategies to address these factors have been put in place. The first strategy that has been made by health care organizations in Australia is to try and make access to health care easier for the Filipino population. This is achievable by first understanding that lack of access may be due to poor access to health infrastructure as well as poor financial statuses that would allow them to seek proper health care (Australia's Health, 2014).The Australian government through the ministry of health is constructing more public hospitals across the country, even in remote locations in an attempt to ensure that the whole of the Australian population has a fair opportunity to receive affordable and quality health care services. The Australian government in association with health care organizations across the country have taken initiatives to promote awareness on the importance of adopting healthy lifestyles such as proper nutrition, participation in physical activities as well as reducing the rates of smoking and alcohol consumption (Australia's Health, 2014). Understanding how these aspects are important to their health, research shows that there has been considerable improvement since the implementation of these measures.

In addition to these strategies, the Australian government should ensure that Filipino Australians enjoy the same opportunities at getting education. This is because with education an individual can be able to read as well as interpret health information, and this may be important in improving and maintain their health status and of those around them. In addition, educational achievement is associated with employment which means that these individuals will have an income and will be able to maintain quality health care services as well as afford to practice proper nutrition. Moreover, the Australian government should strive to ensure that Filipino Australians enjoy proper housing as well as being informed on the importance of proper housing and how poor housing negatively affects their health status.

Summary

Culture determines how individuals are born, grow, live, work and age. In both our case studies, culture determines the health status of both Filipino as well as Chinese Australians. In both cultures, although at different rates, individuals practice poor nutrition as well as poor participation in forms of physical activities which puts their health status at risk. In addition, the number of individuals who indulge in unhealthy lifestyles such as smoking and alcohol in both Filipino and Chinese cultures is relatively high. This puts the health of large number of the Australian population at risk. On the other hand, there is a significantly huge difference between the educational attainment levels between Filipino Australians and Chinese Australians. Poor education levels have been associated with poor health due to the inability to interpret health information. In addition, the living conditions between individuals from these cultures is significantly different as it is seen that Filipino Australians live in poor environment and a large number of them are not employed. This compromises their access to quality health care services. This cannot be said for the majority of Chinese Australians as most of them live in environments where access to health care services is easy and most of them are employed and can, therefore, afford to access quality health care services.

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