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Answer 1

In Australia, the healthcare system, including primary healthcare, is primarily governed and managed by the Australian government and state/territorial governments. The WHO, however, provides guidance, recommendations, and best practices that can influence how healthcare systems are developed and improved (AIHW, 2022). WHO and Australia have a partnership spanning 70 years where WHO recognizes and appreciated the technical, human resources, and financial support provided by Australia. WHO sets global health standards for the healthcare systems, which were used by Australian healthcare as a reference when developing and refining healthcare policies and practices. WHO collects and disseminates health data and research findings (WHO, 2023). This data can be used by Australian health authorities to assess the effectiveness of their primary healthcare system and make evidence-based decisions for improvements. WHO has contributed to research in a range of health areas pertaining to women, such as sexual and reproductive health, violence, and disability, since 1993 (WHO, 2023). The WHO Collaborating Centre for Strengthening Rehabilitation Capacity in Health Systems hosted by The University of Sydney supports community-based rehabilitation across Australia. The Australia government collaborate with centers for diagnostics and laboratory provision for HIV/AIDS and other blood-borne infections (WHO, 2023).

Answer 2

Health inequalities and health literacy have a significant impact on determining health outcomes in the Australian context. Gibney et al (2020) in their study reported that several factors contribute to health inequalities, including socioeconomic status, geographic location, Indigenous status, and cultural diversity. Health inequalities due to low socioeconomic status can result in limited access to healthcare, struggle with affordability, and face barriers to healthy living, including adequate nutrition and housing (Gibney et al., 2020).

Low health literacy can act as a barrier to access and understand healthcare information and lead to poorer health results (Muscat et al., 2019). Health literacy is critical to health elevation and includes the environmental, political and social factors that either hinder or advance health outcomes. Inadequate health literacy can affect an individual's ability to engage in shared decision-making with healthcare providers, potentially leading to suboptimal healthcare decisions and treatment plans (Muscat et al., 2019). Choudhary et al (2019) stated that the prevalence of low health literacy in Australian adults was 60% which raises worries about the capacity of people to efficiently participate in decision-making. Patients with low health literacy have been shown to face a higher rate of medication errors and errors and improper interpretation of medication label warnings (Choudhary et al., 2019).

Answer 3

The social determinants of health are shaped by the distribution of money, power and resources and are frequently accountable for health inequalities (Green et al., 2022). Socioeconomic disparities in Australia can lead to variations in health outcomes. Lower-income individuals often face barriers to accessing healthcare have limited access to nutritious food, and may live in environment that expose them to health risks. Substandard or overcrowded housing can contribute to health problems, including respiratory issues, mental health challenges, and the spread of infectious diseases (Nash & Arora, 2021). Geographic location is one of the significant socioeconomic factors that affect the availability of healthcare services. People living in rural have to face limited healthcare infrastructure and services. Indigenous Australians often experience cultural and social factors which result in poorer health outcomes due to historical injustices, discrimination, and disparities in social and economic factors (Verbunt et al., 2021). Nash et al (2021) stated that majority of immigrant population in Australia may face health disparities due to linguistic barriers, cultural variances, and limited understanding of the Australian healthcare system. Due to these barriers, many Aboriginals do not obtain a similar chance to attain and uphold physical and mental health as non-Indigenous Australians (Nash & Arora, 2021).

Answer 4

Immunization is one of the most significant ways to prevent infectious diseases. It is assessed that vaccines have prohibited six million deaths from vaccine-preventable diseases per year. High vaccination coverage within a community can lead to herd immunity, which means a sufficient part of the people is immune to a disease, dropping the spread of the pathogen (Bullen et al., 2023). When a sufficient amount of the population are vaccinated, spread of the infecting agent is hampered thereby defense the unvaccinated, who may be those too young, too vulnerable, or too immunosuppressed to receive vaccines (Rodrigues & Plotkin, 2020).

Healthcare professionals in vaccination programs have a crucial role in educating patients and parents to address vaccine hesitancy (Dubé, 2019). They provide information about recommended vaccines, the benefits of vaccination, and address concerns or misconceptions. Healthcare providers assess an individual’s vaccination status and recommend vaccines based on age, health status, and risk factors. Doctors, nurses, and pharmacists can monitor and report adverse events following immunization, contributing to vaccine safety surveillance (Ramot & Tal, 2023). These professionals advocate for vaccination policies and programs that promote community health. They play a role in shaping public health policy and guidelines related to vaccination (Dubé, 2019).

Answer 5

Healthcare nurses are on the frontline of healthcare delivery, serving as a bridge between individuals, families, and the healthcare system. Primary healthcare nurses are known for delivering holistic and patient-centered care by considering their emotional, social, and cultural needs. To accomplish their goal, nurses should adopt a range of resources, which can help them regulate the best treatment replacements for each patient (Hassmiller & Wakefield, 2022). However, due to limited time and resources, nurses have to face challenges while dealing with complex medical conditions or addressing social determinants of health. Nurses often serves as advocates for their patients, ensuring receive appropriate care, resources, and support. However, the nursing advocacy in the healthcare settings were frequently lead to risks include frustrations, feelings of anger and jobless. Their advocacy can sometimes lead to conflicts, and nurses may encounter resistance from other healthcare professionals or the system itself (Nsiah et al., 2019). Primary healthcare nurses are often involved in community engagement, participating in outreach programs, health education, and community initiatives. This help in building trust and strengthen healthcare access. Meanwhile, community engagement can be time-consuming and can impact the daily care practice of nurses. This can disrupt the continuity of care and can result in staff turnover, workload pressure, or changes in the healthcare system (Hassmiller & Wakefield, 2022).

Reference:

AIHW. (2022). Health system overview. https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/australias-health/health-system-overview

Bullen, M., Heriot, G. S., & Jamrozik, E. (2023). Herd immunity, vaccination and moral obligation.  Journal of Medical Ethics . http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jme-2022-108485

Choudhry, F. R., Ming, L. C., Munawar, K., Zaidi, S. T. R., Patel, R. P., Khan, T. M., & Elmer, S. (2019). Health literacy studies conducted in Australia: a scoping review.  International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health ,  16 (7), 1112. https://doi.org/10.3390%2Fijerph16071112

Dubé, E. (2019). Addressing vaccine hesitancy: the crucial role of healthcare providers.  Clinical Microbiology and Infection ,  23 (5), 279-280. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cmi.2016.11.007 

Gibney, S., Bruton, L., Ryan, C., Doyle, G., & Rowlands, G. (2020). Increasing health literacy may reduce health inequalities: evidence from a national population survey in Ireland.  International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health ,  17 (16), 5891. https://doi.org/10.3390%2Fijerph17165891

Green, H., Fernandez, R., & MacPhail, C. (2022). Well‐being and social determinants of health among Australian adults: A national cross‐sectional study.  Health & Social Care in the Community ,  30 (6), e4345-e4354. https://doi.org/10.1111%2Fhsc.13827

Hassmiller, S. B., & Wakefield, M. K. (2022). The future of nursing 2020–2030: Charting a path to achieve health equity.  Nursing Outlook ,  70 (6), S1-S9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK573910/

Muscat, D. M., Smith, S., Dhillon, H. M., Morony, S., Davis, E. L., Luxford, K., ... & McCaffery, K. (2019). Incorporating health literacy in education for socially disadvantaged adults: an Australian feasibility study.  International Journal for Equity in Health ,  15 (1), 1-10. https://equityhealthj.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12939-016-0373-1

Nash, S., & Arora, A. (2021). Interventions to improve health literacy among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples: a systematic review.  BMC Public Health ,  21 (1), 1-15. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-021-10278-

Nsiah, C., Siakwa, M., & Ninnoni, J. P. (2019). Registered nurses' description of patient advocacy in the clinical setting.  Nursing Open ,  6 (3), 1124-1132. https://doi.org/10.1002%2Fnop2.307

Ramot, S., & Tal, O. (2023). Supporting healthcare workers in vaccination efforts.  Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics ,  19 (1), 2172882. https://doi.org/10.1080%2F21645515.2023.2172882

Rodrigues, C. M., & Plotkin, S. A. (2020). Impact of vaccines; health, economic and social perspectives.  Frontiers in Microbiology ,  11 , 1526. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2020.01526

Verbunt, E., Luke, J., Paradies, Y., Bamblett, M., Salamone, C., Jones, A., & Kelaher, M. (2021). Cultural determinants of health for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people–a narrative overview of reviews.  International Journal for Equity in Health ,  20 , 1-9. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12939-021-01514-2

WHO. (2023). Australia: Partner in global health. https://www.who.int/about/funding/contributors/aus

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