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UNCC100 Self And Community Question: Discuss about the Causes of inequality in the health care.     Answer: Inequality in the health care is prominent in the Australian health care systems. The inequality between rich and poor has now extended across all the categories of people. Rural communities are struggling to access the health care services when compared with the urban people. Lack of access to quality health care is leaving them marginalised with poorer health outcomes. It is the local and global issue and is affecting the common good. As per the “the Australian Department of Health and Ageing” the 90% of the population dwells in 14 per cent of the land area. The remaining 10% is left for the rest of the 86% of the land. There is lack of tough allocative decisions to address the scarce health care resources in Australia.  The current allocation of heath care resources indicates greater focus on the urban community than on the rural community. Alarming rate of the morbidity and mortality among the rural population is attributed to the misallocation of resources. The mortality rate in the rural areas is 1.4 times higher than that of the urban counterparts (Lawrence et al., 2013).  Further statistics from the “Australian Bureau of Statistics” indicated that there is 16% more number of mental health patients in the rural areas than in the urban community ((Badland et al., 2014)). The gap is similar in terms of other diseases such as arthritis, asthma, hypertension, and cancer. As per the report from “Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association” (AHHA), the average life expectancy of the Indigenous Australians is 10 years shorter than the wider population (Hill et al., 2013). The two major causes for this inequality in the health care is related with the increasing urbanisation in Australia. The other factor that exacerbated the condition is the increasing aging population.  Tremendous shortage of nurses and the allied health professionals is the other main contributing factor for the inequality.  This affects the common good as more people in rural areas are dying that could be prevented. Children are suffering from chronic illness who are considered the future of Australian economy.  Saving these people can be more productive for the country (Kelaher et al., 2014). The inequality in the health care calls for strategy to address the harm caused to common good. However, a mitigating policy is yet to be developed. It is the responsibility of the nurses to narrow the health gap.  This calls for reforms in the all the care systems in Australia.   The above stark findings make us think that whether inequality in Australian healthcare is serving the purpose of common good and social justice. Through the lens of nursing profession, cultural sensitivity can help to oppose the strong barrier of inequalities in healthcare across Australian healthcare system. It is expected that as nurses are at the frontline in the provision of care, their attention can aid in reducing the gap between the inequalities in healthcare realizing the purpose of common good.   The advocacy and working towards health promotion for the rural people can holistically help to address the inequality in healthcare rooting from scarcity of resources and branching off to urban areas rather than rural population. This results in such a situation where there are poor health outcomes that need to be alleviated for equality in healthcare. As per the above statistics, there are poor mental health outcomes among the rural population as compared to urban people demonstrating that there is poor decision-making and misallocation of resources in the Australian healthcare system. There is growing urbanization and as the population ages, this is resulting in inequality on healthcare describing them as social disadvantages community (Wynaden et al., 2014). Nursing practice core elements of care, concern and cultural empathy are assets for the establishment of equality in healthcare in Australia. The promotion and realization of common good can be promoted through collaborative work between nurses and other healthcare professionals addressing inequalities in healthcare (Hoeve, Jansen & Roodbol, 2014). However, an alarming finding suggests that nursing workforce is scarce centralized in the urban areas. This is the prime reason that rural population are unable to avail the healthcare services. Nurses can work together in closing this distinct gap between the rural and urban population by working towards closing the gap. As stated by Standards of Practice in Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA), nurses can take initiatives towards health equity by recognizing the rural needs and eradication of health disparity. Indigenous nursing can be an option that can help to close the gap of health disparity between rural and urban population promoting equality in healthcare (Best & Stuart, 2014). Therefore, nursing profession can aid in promoting common good and social justice by committing to work towards health equality in their future nursing practice.   References Badland, H., Whitzman, C., Lowe, M., Davern, M., Aye, L., Butterworth, I., … & Giles-Corti, B. (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. Best, O., & Stuart, L. (2014). An Aboriginal nurse-led working model for success in graduating Indigenous Australian nurses. Contemporary nurse, 48(1), 59-66. Hill, S., Sarfati, D., Robson, B., & Blakely, T. (2013). Indigenous inequalities in cancer: what role for health care?. ANZ Journal of Surgery, 83(1-2), 36-41. Hoeve, Y. T., Jansen, G., & Roodbol, P. (2014). The nursing profession: public image, self?concept and professional identity. A discussion paper. Journal of advanced nursing, 70(2), 295-309. Kelaher, M., Sabanovic, H., La Brooy, C., Lock, M., Lusher, D., & Brown, L. (2014). Does more equitable governance lead to more equitable health care? A case study based on the implementation of health reform in Aboriginal health Australia. Social Science & Medicine, 123, 278-286. Lawrence, D., Hancock, K. J., & Kisely, S. (2013). The gap in life expectancy from preventable physical illness in psychiatric patients in Western Australia: retrospective analysis of population based registers. Bmj, 346, f2539. Wynaden, D., Heslop, K., Al Omari, O., Nelson, D., Osmond, B., Taylor, M., & Gee, T. (2014). Identifying mental health nursing research priorities: A Delphi study. Contemporary nurse, 47(1-2), 16-26.

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