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Health Problems of Aboriginal Communities in Canada

Introduction

There are many aboriginal peoples and communities in Canada, including the First Nations, Inuit, and Metis. Unfortunately, the health status of Aboriginal peoples is generally much worse than that of non-Aboriginal Canadians (NCCAH, 2013). This is a severe problem that requires attention and government aid. The article “An Overview of Aboriginal Health in Canada,” presented by the National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Health (2013), demonstrates the severity of the issue. Many Aboriginal peoples suffer from low life expectancies, diseases, alcohol abuse, and other health problems (NCCAH, 2013). Additionally, there are many gaps in the Aboriginal health services and unnecessarily complicated jurisdiction (NCCAH, 2013). Therefore, it is critical to improving the quality of healthcare services and social benefits provided to Aboriginal peoples.

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Health Implications for Aboriginal Peoples

Aboriginal peoples have lived on territory now known as Canada long before European contact. However, the consequent meeting of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples was associated with unfortunate circumstances (NCCAH, 2013). The article transparently states, “the diseases and conflicts of colonization devastated Indigenous populations and their systems of Indigenous health knowledge.” (NCCAH, 2013, p. 3). As a result, even at present, the Aboriginal communities continue to suffer from health problems and require additional help from the government. The National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Health states that Aboriginal people have higher rates of child mortality, disease burdens, malnutrition, drug abuse, and other problems (NCCAH, 2013). Additionally, NCCAH cannot receive complete information about Aboriginal health status, so it is possible that the real situation is even worse (NCCAH, 2013). However, the Aboriginal communities continue to strive for a better future despite the health challenges and problems.

Health Determinants

Health determinants refer to various factors that affect the health status of the chosen group. For instance, socio-economic determinants, such as income, level of education, and employment rate, have a strong impact on people’s health (NCCAH, 2013). While these factors have been slightly improving over recent years, there is still a large disparity between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians. Therefore, the government and the various peoples should work together to improve the quality of life in the country and specifically help the Aboriginal communities. Fixing the social issues, such as education and employment, will increase the health status of Aboriginal people in the future.

Potential Policies

Lastly, it is important to critically examine what policies could improve the situation. The article highlights the complexity of jurisdiction as the main issue, stating that unnecessary government hierarchy creates barriers to effective health services (NCCAH, 2013). In other words, the government redirects its power to regional health authorities, and many levels of jurisdiction make the health services worse (NCCAH, 2013). It is a severe problem; however, the article also mentions that some of the policies are effective (NCCAH, 2013). For example, the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch (FNIHB) provides health services for more than 200 Aboriginal communities (NCCAH, 2013). Therefore, it is important to determine which of the existing policies are effective and focus on them. This could be achieved by focusing the power and finances on one institution responsible for Aboriginal health services. In turn, this approach would solve the increasing problem of complex jurisdiction and uneven distribution of funding.

Conclusion

At present, the disparity between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal health statuses is a relevant issue in society. Many Aboriginal communities suffer from health and social problems, such as diseases and short life expectancies. Therefore, it is crucial to address such issues as complex health jurisdiction, high rates of unemployment, low income, and education problems. Only by overcoming both health and social barriers is it possible to improve the Aboriginal health status.

Reference

National Collaborating Center for Aboriginal Health [NCCAH]. (2013). An overview of Aboriginal health in Canada. Web.

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StudyCorgi. (2022, October 19). Health Problems of Aboriginal Communities in Canada. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/health-problems-of-aboriginal-communities-in-canada/

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StudyCorgi. (2022, October 19). Health Problems of Aboriginal Communities in Canada. https://studycorgi.com/health-problems-of-aboriginal-communities-in-canada/

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "Health Problems of Aboriginal Communities in Canada." October 19, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/health-problems-of-aboriginal-communities-in-canada/.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Health Problems of Aboriginal Communities in Canada'. 19 October.

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