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"In what ways can the philosophy and practice of cultural proficiency offer solutions to unequal health outcomes for Indigenous Australians"
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They still struggle against discrimination in all areas including health and social care. Australia’s Aboriginal population teaches two contrasting truths: “the crucial significance of culture in people’s lives” (O’Hagan, 2001, p.93), and the cultural insensitivity among those in authority including health care professionals towards minority cultural groups.
According to the RACP (2004), the inequality in health status of indigenous populations in Australia is directly related to systemic discrimination. Health inequalities can be corrected only by achieving fundamental changes in the dominant Australian population’s behavior towards Aboriginal people. Ensuring equality in the indigenous groups is vital for the improvement of their health. Thus, “racist treatment should be recognised as a social determinant of health” (Larson et al, 2007, p.322), leading to inequalities in well-being and protection from diseases. (CSDH, 2008).
Together, the conditions of daily life and the structural determinants consisting of distribution of power, income, goods and services, and the consequent unfairness in access to basic amenities such as health care are the major reasons for health inequities among indigenous groups (CSDH, 2008). Appropriate and adequate provisions are required for health care. For example, Kildea et al (2010) state that poor maternal and infant health outcomes can be improved for indigenous populations through an intensive, coordinated strategy to close the gap between the requirement and the provision of facilities to fulfill the requirement.
Further, there is a lack of sensitivity to the crucial cultural philosophies and practices of the indigenous groups, with attempts to compel them into the mainstream population, while depriving them of access to basic amenities. Since the health outcomes of the indigenous
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