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Flashcards in Week 8: Health Care Systems Deck (10)
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Describe the Australian Health Care System

The Australian Health Care system could be, and indeed has been, described as a cascade of failures. It is a non-linear puzzle of services, pathways, and feedback loops. Smaller loops and groups exist within the whole, and it is difficult to determine where one ends and the next begins. The system involves Primary Health Services, Allied Health Services, Multidisciplinary loops where different organisations work together, Both Private and Public Health Care Facilities, Hospitals, Specialist Clinics, and Mental Health Clinics - the list goes on. It may seem that the only thing this assemblage of parts has in common is its' goal: health.


How to improve upon a multidisciplinary Approach?

Research has shown that a multidisciplinary approach to health is likely to reap far better health outcomes. The problem is that, for doctors, nurses and allied health professionals (etc.) to work together, it requires interdisciplinary learning. Each must know about the other, and understand how to integrate other professionals where appropriate.


What are the sub-headings involved in the social determinants of health?

1) General 2) Living and Working Conditions 3) Social and Community Networks 4) Individual Lifestyle Factors


What are the 'general' social determinants of health?

The general Socioeconomic Status (the area), the Environment Conditions (i.e. good weather, hurricanes, flooding), and the Culture


What are the social determinants of health concerned with 'Living and Working Conditions'?

Living conditions:

  • Housing:
    • Mould, proper heating (affordability of this, too), overcrowding?
    • Psychological

Work Environment:

  • Exposures (sun, asbestos, radiation, etc.)
  • Working Conditions
  • Psychological


Education Level


  • Local food availability and cost?

Air and Water Sanitation

Health Care Services:

  • Availability, access, affordability


What are the Social Determinants of Health Concerned with Social & Community Networks?

The kinds of social and community networks surrounding the individual

  • Emotional/Psychological Support
  • Isolation
  • Friendship groups
  • Family
  • Tight-knit community
  • Do these factors affect access to health care? Or any other co-morbidities?


What are the 'Individual Lifestyle Factors' that affect Social Determinants of Health?

  • Genetics
    • E.g. predispositions
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol
  • Diet
  • BMI
  • Mental Health Status
  • Disease Status
    • E.g. Risk Factors, Co-morbidities
  • Immunisation
  • Age
  • Sex
  • Where the individual has lived
  • Exposures


Respiratory Disease in Australia

6 million Australians have a chronic Respiratory Condition


In 2009, underlying Respiratory Conditions were the 3rd most common cause of mortality in Australia


  • How do the Determinants of Health Relate to Respiratory Disease?


  • SES, Culture (e.g. higher rates among Indigenous Australians and Torres Straight Islanders)

Living and Working Conditions:

  • Workplace Exposures (e.g. asbestos, silica, coal mining, dusts)
  • Air sanitation (pollution, dusts, etc.) - both inside the house/workplace and outside
    • Thus affected by what you live near, mould inside the house, dust in the workplace, etc
  • Housing (mould, over-crowing where there is increased risk of disease spread)

Individual Lifestyle Factors:

  • Genetics (Atopy, hypersensitivities)
  • Smoking (including second-hand smoking)
  • Alcoholism
  • Pets
  • Immunisations
  • Placed Lived or Travelled