Education is a social determinant of health. It is a factor that influences health in different ways. First and foremost, education influences people’s literacy levels. A person who is educated is considered to be literate. A literate person is adequately informed on various issues in their surroundings. For example, they can understand and appreciate the role of medical care in the society. This appreciation is important because it can enable them to engage in activities that can improve their health. However, this cannot happen to an uneducated person who is not aware of the significance of modern healthcare services in their lives.
Besides, education can empower individuals to be conscious and knowledgeable persons who can make important health-related decisions such as behavior and lifestyle changes. For example, health literacy can enable a person to engage in activities such as healthy diet, physical exercises, and personal hygiene because of the important contributions they make towards their health. At the same time, they can get access to job opportunities to enable them earn some money to use in acquiring medical services. However, this cannot happen to uneducated person who is not informed and does not know anything about healthy behaviors (DiCenso; Cullum & Ciliska, 2011). The uneducated people do not appreciate modern healthcare. At the same time, they engage in unhealthy behaviors such as smoking, alcoholism, inactivity, and use of poor diet.
It is for this reason that there is a disparity in the Australian healthcare system. There are higher rates of illnesses and mortality amongst the indigenous than indigenous communities. Unlike their non-indigenous counterparts, the indigenous communities are prone to health challenges because of many reasons such as low levels of education (Badland, et al., 2014). Lack of proper education hinders the indigenous communities from accessing quality health care that is essential to them as well.
The information from the video clip demonstrates that there are different kinds of social factors that influence accessibility to healthcare services in the society. The first social determinant highlighted in the video clip is culture. Culture is a factor that greatly influences healthcare in different ways. It can facilitate or hinder accessibility to modern healthcare services in the country. The people who have traditional views on medicine cannot feel free to go to the healthcare facilities because it does not serve their interest. For instance, the Aboriginals and the Torres Strait Islander people are reluctant to use modern medical services because of the traditional views they hold on the causes, diagnosis, and treatment of illnesses (Badland, et al., 2014). These people do not like modern medicine because they believe in the power of herbs and spiritual intervention in the treatment of diseases.
The other social determinant highlighted in the video clip is social class. The video represents a typical community that is segregated into the low, middle and high classes. As their name suggests, the low class are the least privileged people who are placed in the lowest hierarchy in the society. As a result of their low status, the underprivileged persons do not have equal chances of accessing healthcare services because they lack knowledge and resources to use in acquiring healthcare services (Perrin, 2013). This does not apply to the middle and high classes which are made up of more privileged people. People who are categorized in the middle and high classes are empowered; they have access to quality education, and healthcare services because they can afford it. It is for this reason that not all the children in the video could access healthcare services (Russell, 2013). Only a few people who were placed in privileged positions would not struggle to attain it.
The scenario presented in the video depicts a real picture of Australian healthcare system. It shows the delivery of primary healthcare services in the country. The video clip highlights the application of the principle of accessibility to healthcare services. Accessibility is one of the most outstanding principles of primary health care. It stipulates that everyone should be given equal chances of accessing quality healthcare services in the society irrespective of their race, ethnicity, culture, gender, age, or religion (Gajjar, Zwi, Hill & Shannon, 2014).
The other principle captured in the video clip is the application of modern technologies in the provision of healthcare services. In order to provide high quality healthcare services, modern technology should be applied. Health care, just like any other sector, should be responsive to the technological changes in the society. Therefore, to satisfy the needs of the patients and win the confidence of the public, primary healthcare providers should use modern technologies (Benson, 2016). This is what was done in the video clip because deliberate efforts were made to provide excellent services. As a nation, Australia should be committed to applying these principles because they can help in improving the quality of healthcare as well as enabling it to attain the desired equality and equity in healthcare services (Di Cesare, et al., 2013).
Badland, H., et al. (2014). Urban liveability: emerging lessons from Australia for exploring the potential for indicators to measure the social determinants of health. Social Science & Medicine, 111, 64-73.
Benson, T. (2016). Principles of Health Interoperability. New York: Springer. Di Cesare, M., et al. (2013). Inequalities in non-communicable diseases and effective responses.
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DiCenso, A.; Cullum, N. & Ciliska, D. (2011). Implementing evidence-based nursing: some misconceptions. Evidence Based Nursing 1 (2): 38–40. doi:10.1136/ebn.1.2.38.
Gajjar, D., Zwi, A.B., Hill, P.S. & Shannon, C., (2014). A case study in the use of evidence in a changing political context: an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health service re- examines practice models, governance and financing. Australian Health Review, 38(4), pp.383-386.
Perrin, V. A. (2013). Social determinants of health. Health Affairs, 32(11), 2060.
Russell, L.M. (2013). Reports indicate that changes are needed to close the gap for Indigenous health. Med J Aust, 199(11), pp.1-2.