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WHO’s ‘reorienting health care’ and the Description of Primary Health Care Contained in the Nursing and Midwifery Consensus Statement

Healthcare orientation is one of the main objectives of the Alma Ata Declaration and the Ottawa Charter on Health Promotion. Healthcare activities focus on providing curative and clinical activities. However, health activities should move away from providing the traditional services and focus on health promotion. Health promotion should incorporate cultural needs of various people. In addition, health services should support individual and communal needs to improve the health of people (Tulchinsky & Varavikova, 2009). In the context of Nursing and Midwifery Consensus Statement nurses and midwifes must ensure that their activities help in promoting health of individuals. The statement propagates the funding of activities aimed at health promotion and sicknesses prevention (Adrian, 2009). In addition, the statement obligates nurses and midwifes to address the needs of native communities including people from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders communities.

Reorientation of healthcare also necessitates the incorporation of additional parties into health promotion activities. Thus, individuals, community groups, health practitioners, health service agencies, and governments should cooperate to improve the health of the population (Tulchinsky & Varavikova, 2009). Nursing and Midwifery Consensus Statement provides several avenues of such cooperation between various stakeholders. It ensures that respectful partnerships are established between communities and health care providers, researchers and educators. Nursing and Midwifery Consensus Statement ensures active participation of Australian residents in planning and implementation of healthcare activities. In support of its aims the statement adopts the maxim “nothing about us without us” (Adrian, 2009, p. 2). This ultimately illustrates the intent to promote health.

To reorient health services more attention must be given to health research as well as to changes in education and training that healthcare providers receive. These changes will result in a change of attitudes within organisations. They will also ensure that health practitioners give necessary care and satisfy health needs of the individual in a holistic manner (Tulchinsky & Varavikova, 2009). Nursing and Midwifery Consensus Statement ensures that a considerable investment in transdisciplinary training and research to help healthcare providers meet the needs of the community. In addition, it recognises the knowledge, skills, and experience of healthcare providers and uses them in transdisciplinary teams (Adrian, 2009). This ensures that healthcare providers can meet healthcare needs of the individual in a holistic manner. The latter helps in alleviating current health problems and prevents their recurrence. As a result, this helps in promoting health.

The Nursing and Midwifery Consensus Statements’ vision of Primary Health Care vs. Present Australian Health Care System

The Nursing and Midwifery Consensus Statement proposes radical changes in the provision of primary healthcare in Australia that would help improve the health status of Australians. To help in health promotion the Nursing and Midwifery Consensus Statement ensures that there is active participation of citizens in identifying priority areas for prevention of diseases, injury, and disability (Adrian, 2009). The present Australian healthcare system, however, has extremely limited participation of citizens in these activities. People have no control over the priority areas in health care that need improvement (Lewis, 2003). The government determines the areas that are of priority for improvement.

The Nursing and Midwifery Consensus Statements propose a different approach to meeting primary healthcare needs of individuals. It proposes coordination and team-based approach for dealing with primary healthcare provision. It ensures that no single professional group handles the provision of primary healthcare needs. Healthcare providers must approach primary healthcare needs in a collaborative manner. Thus, health professionals from different disciplines should collaborate in health promotion activities. The needs of the individual or community influence healthcare professionals’ activities that lead teams in healthcare provision (Adrian, 2009). In addition, the transdisciplinary nature of healthcare provision brings together different healthcare professionals who can effectively tackle the health problem. The current system does not facilitate working in transdisciplinary teams to help in health promotion. Emphasis is usually put on a particular health discipline (Lewis, 2003). This approach sometimes counters the efforts and achievements of other health disciplines.

In addition, healthcare givers must ensure that they meet the holistic healthcare needs of individuals. Healthcare providers should incorporate body, mind, spirit, environment, culture, custom, and socio-economic status of their patients in healthcare provision. Healthcare providers should use practical, scientifically and socially acceptable technology and methods to improve the efficiency of this approach. Holistic approach to health care helps in promoting health care and helps in meeting healthcare needs that regular health care approach would not detect (Adrian, 2009). Thus, this approach helps in prevention of various ailments and improves health of individuals. This approach is non-existent in the current healthcare system. Doctors mainly treat the symptoms of various ailments (Lewis, 2003). However, this prevents them from solving the root causes of the problems leading to their recurrence.

Advantages and Disadvantages of the Social Model of Health with Reference to the Social Issues around Maturity and Onset Diabetes (Type 2)

Social model of health considers the health of an individual or community to be affected by complex interacting social, environmental, economic, and personal factors. Social model of health provides the description of central conditions of living that healthy individuals should have. Failure to adhere to these conditions can result in ailments. The ability to access, assimilate, and utilise health information impacts the health of the individual or community. The broad range of determinants helps medical practitioners detect medical conditions more effectively in comparison to practitioners who use other models (Joslin & Kahn, 2005). Thus, it would be easier for medical practitioners to determine various factors that make people get type II diabetes. This would help the medical practitioner devise strategies that would help the individual cope with the disease effectively.

In addition, the social model sees health as the primary responsibility of all members of the society. Therefore, social model can associate various activities to health of the individual or society. This approach is extremely beneficial for solving health problems that exist in a community due to certain characteristics of the community (Joslin & Kahn, 2005). Thus, social model would help determine behaviours of the community to fight type II diabetes.

One of the distinct disadvantages of the social model of health is the fact that it does not directly measure the degree of health problem (Issel, 2009). It determines the general health condition of the community and uses this as a basis for determining health of the individual. However, this may sometimes give wrong results as not all individuals conform to the characteristics of the society. Therefore, this method would not directly determine the extent of type 2 diabetes.

The other disadvantage of the social model of health is that it can only determine certain social determinant of health missing on other numerous determinants (Sakellaropoulos, Berghman & Amitsis, 2004). Healthcare providers might be able to determine certain factors that make people in a certain community be at risk of suffering from type II diabetes. They, however, will not be able address the problems that people in this community face. Some of the problems may be beyond the control of the model.

Importance of Social Inequality for Understanding Primary Health Care

Social status directly affects the health status of individuals. It determines whether the individual will enrol in various health programs or not. Income inequality reduces the amount of money that people spend on health programs. This ultimately affects their health condition. In addition, individuals who are economically inferior in comparison to their peers tend to have adverse health effects (Neckerman, 2004). These individuals are prone to depression and other psychological conditions, which deteriorate their health. Thus, it is pertinent to say that if one considers the health of two people, for example A and B, the wealth of individual A improves relative to the health of individual B that deteriorates (Neckerman, 2004).

Poor people are likely to engage in activities that are detrimental to their health. These people may engage in smoking, drinking, or even overeating (Budrys, 2010). This may expose them to numerous health problems that arise because of the engagement in these activities. Thus, in societies that have large levels of income inequalities people who have low incomes are prone to more health problems than people who have higher incomes. Conversely, people who have higher levels of income are less likely to smoke or consume alcohol. In addition, these people exercise more which makes them have better health than people who have low levels of income. Although there are instances of poor people engaging in health activities similar to those of the rich, this does not prevent them from having poor health condition. Paula Lantz and her colleagues carried out a research that showed that, despite poor and wealthy people were involved in similar activities, the poor had worse health condition compared to people who had higher levels of income (Budrys, 2010). Therefore, psychological factors cause the difference in health status between these two social classes.

An understanding of social inequality would help nurses in formulation of various primary healthcare programs to address the healthcare needs of various social groups. It would help nurses and midwifes identify problems associated with social inequality and help in treating the problems efficiently. Lack of understanding of these problems may affect the efficiency of various healthcare programs that nurses and midwives carry out. People who perceive themselves as inferior have the most health problems that nurses and midwives have to solve. Psychological perception of the poor causes most of their health problems.

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