Health Workforce

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are collectively referred to the indigenous population. These Indigenous communities in Australia have experienced multiple health inequalities that require proper addressal and a better effective methodology in place to deal with the concerning issue. There have been multiple barriers that have hampered the smooth facilitation of health care services and opportunities to these individuals (Jamieson, 2016). These barriers are inclusive of increased cost of healthcare, transportation and logistics barriers, language barriers, multiple barriers due to lack of cultural and safety measures in the surroundings these communities reside in. Apart from these limitations the population is also faced with the challenges of lack of participation in the various healthcare facilities (Conway, 2017). However, there are multiple primary care centres in place which enable care to the patient and provide the deemed heath care services, the facilities might lack the presence of collaborative approach of defined authorities in place, for enabling smooth facilitation of services. However, in order to overcome these defined and restricting barriers, the healthcare system requires a comprehensive approach. This is also important from the point of view of enhancing the healthcare services and making the workforce strong and stable in strength. The primary healthcare facilities in indigenous communities mainly depend on the support of their workforce for enabling a patient-centred support. Due to lack of a proper and efficient workforce there has been constant impedance observed in the delivery of smooth facilitation of healthcare services. The demographic as well as geographical situation of these communities also impacts on the lack of adequate staff enrolled for serving healthcare facilities. Due to remote locations of these dwellings, the healthcare staffing issue and their retention has been indicated as one of the top most challenge faced by these communities. There is a shift in paradigm needed for these communities to highlight these health inequalities. The role of managerial staff and community nurses can be deemed as pivotal in the given case scenario (Smith, 2017). They can help in identifying and marginalising these health inequality gaps by collaboratively working with the people on community levels and with the organizations responsible for enabling smooth facilitation of healthcare services in these community settings.

Clinical leadership is an effective approach which can be fruitful in making sure of this process to be a success. Leadership skills have their main focus on the clients and healthcare team amenities facilitation. The nurses can be the point source of enabling communication between the various healthcare team members and patient population, addressing to their underlying concerns and requirements (Li, 2017). They can work in a formal manner to provide the required support to sustain the smooth and robust functioning of the system. Formal leadership can be an autonomous approach that can help in defining the goals and objectives. It also helps in making sound decision-making and acknowledging the roles and responsibilities that require direct attention. The foundational leadership role can help in promoting an independent state of healthcare facilities, mainly focusing on fortifying the foundation of healthcare delivery system. Noting and acknowledging the gaps helps the clinical leader to have a directional approach in service care delivery to the desired and focused population, addressing to their particular needs (Stanley, 2020).

The leadership skills that can be opted to marginalize the retention of indigenous population in healthcare facilities can be multifaced. However, the main consideration to analyze the situation in regards with the surroundings of indigenous population. The primary method can be through living the experience. The experience knowledge begins with getting acquainted with the wellness journey of these community settings. This can include having a detailed knowledge of the progressive development in the healthcare sector in these settings. This can also include acknowledging the circle that is the main influencer in modulating the healthcare delivery system and approach required to deliver the same to these population group (Lai, 2018). It can also be attained by being an integral part of wellness system. A wellness partner can highlight and support the rising concerns and short-comings of the community settings. This can be done by being actively present and visiting the primary healthcare facilities to collect the ground report. The data collected should be matched with the statistical prevalence of the particular area to be focused upon. This will also help the leaders in recognizing the effective measures to be drafted, specific to the community settings.

Another method that can be fruitful in the given case scenario is through analyzing the cumulative wellness and health sphere. This sphere can be inclusive of families, communities and their interpersonal relations. In order to establish a string leadership holds in the community for facilitating care to the people, the holistic paradigm has to be approached (McKivett, 2019). The main aim to enroll the community wellness programs with the main stream healthcare system so as to ensure care delivery through advanced and improved methods. This will also help in fortifying a strong hold in the community by enabling them with improved and advanced solutions. A strong leadership is also able to derive the best out of the health main stream and offer the most essential and best possible approach to the indigenous population.

With the participation of individuals from these communities in the main stream health system, a collaborative insight to the working of healthcare system can be approached towards. Strong leadership can recognize the true strength required to control and marginalize these healthcare disparities. Having indigenous individuals in the main stream healthcare system, the healthcare professionals can have an upper hand in better healthcare delivery (Jones, 2019). These individuals can act as a bridging force between the nurses and the people residing in these communities, providing them a common platform to share their underlying concerns and issues. Having a healthcare professional from the same cultural background as theirs, a trustworthy bind can be attained with them. Thus, enabling a robust and methodical approach for creating a platform of healthcare facility exchange between the two communities. Culturally strong model can help in shifting the governing paradigm through positive reinforcement and enabling holistic care model approach and assuring equality for all. The leadership can also play a vital role by making sure the enrolment of these individuals in the system, through a guided approach, awareness, mutual respect and a future vision for acknowledging and marginalising the gaps of the health disparities (Percival, 2016). Strong leadership hold can opt for the policy of “carry the team” instead of an individualistic approach. This will help in strengthening the overall contribution and thus, recognizing the personal best to be used for promoting healthcare benefits.

The leaders can also ensure qualities like humility and courage in bringing these individuals in the main framework of clinical practices. This is to promote the progress in the indigenous communities and ensure smooth facilitation of healthcare delivery model, through a collaborative approach. By developing positive teaching approaches and reforms in the main stream an overall positive transformation can be embraced in the healthcare system (Topp, 2018). This will also enable in formulating key federal, ethical and legal reforms to collaborate the traditional methods of teaching and medical approached with new and improved advanced reforms in the healthcare sector. Thus, shifting and highlighting the main focus on ensuring patient care and quality of healthcare delivery as per the anticipated standards. Collaborative approach will also help in narrowing the underlying stigma of health inequalities, thereby ensuring positive healthcare outcomes.

References for Effective Leadership in Promoting Health Inequalities

Conway, J., Tsourtos, G., & Lawn, S. (2017). The barriers and facilitators that indigenous health workers experience in their workplace and communities in providing self-management support: A multiple case study. BMC Health Services Research17(1), 319. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-017-2265-5

Jamieson, L. M., Elani, H. W., Mejia, G. C., Ju, X., Kawachi, I., Harper, S., ... & Kaufman, J. S. (2016). Inequalities in indigenous oral health: findings from Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. Journal of Dental Research95(12), 1375-1380. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0022034516658233

Jones, R., Crowshoe, L., Reid, P., Calam, B., Curtis, E., Green, M., ... & Milroy, J. (2019). Educating for indigenous health equity: An international consensus statement. Academic Medicine94(4), 512. https://dx.doi.org/10.1097%2FACM.0000000000002476

Lai, G. C., Taylor, E. V., Haigh, M. M., & Thompson, S. C. (2018). Factors affecting the retention of indigenous Australians in the health workforce: A systematic review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health15(5), 914. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15050914

Li, J. L. (2017). Cultural barriers lead to inequitable healthcare access for aboriginal Australians and Torres Strait Islanders. Chinese Nursing Research4(4), 207-210. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cnre.2017.10.009

McKivett, A., Paul, D., & Hudson, N. (2019). Healing conversations: Developing a practical framework for clinical communication between Aboriginal communities and healthcare practitioners. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health21(3), 596-605. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10903-018-0793-7

Percival, N., O’Donoghue, L., Lin, V., Tsey, K., & Bailie, R. S. (2016). Improving health promotion using quality improvement techniques in Australian Indigenous primary health care. Frontiers in Public Health4, 53. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2016.00053

Smith, J. A., & Herriot, M. (2017). Positioning health promotion as a policy priority in Australia. Health Promotion Journal of Australia28(1), 5-7. https://doi.org/10.1071/HEv28n1_ED2

Stanley, L. R., Swaim, R. C., Kaholokula, J. K. A., Kelly, K. J., Belcourt, A., & Allen, J. (2020). The imperative for research to promote health equity in indigenous communities. Prevention Science21(1), 13-21. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11121-017-0850-9

Topp, S. M., Edelman, A., & Taylor, S. (2018). “We are everything to everyone”: A systematic review of factors influencing the accountability relationships of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workers (AHWs) in the Australian health system. International Journal for Equity in Health17(1), 67. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12939-018-0779-z.

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