Health Status of Aboriginal people in Ontario
Health Careers and Informatics
November 1st, 2012
The majority of health issues that the Aboriginal community faces are related directly and indirectly to social, economic, cultural and political areas. Infrastructure, housing, employment, income, environmental and education are connected to the individual and community based effects of health.
The health status of aboriginals in Ontario is very poor. There are a lot of health care needs for aboriginals that live in Northwest Ontario, also because the population is so high. The first nations population is the largest (958,000) Followed by the Metis ...view middle of the document...
The self-rated health of an aboriginal child living in a non-reserve area is lower than Canadian children. The off reserve population suffers in lower levels of education, and low level of household income. They also have higher rates of smoking compared to non-aboriginals.
63% of aboriginals were diagnosed as being overweight compared to 39% of Canadians from ages 18-34.Rates of mumps, rubella, and pertussis were three times higher than the overall Canadian rate. It was also found out that tuberculosis is nine times higher with the first nations community in Ontario compared to Canadian population. (Dr. Chandrakant P. Shah. 2005, page. 5)
Other causes of health issues include changing diets, limited access to resources, limited work options and social stressors. These are all part of the complex picture in regards to the Aboriginal population group and disease that affects them.
Higher rates of chronic diseases, such as diabetes are popular in aboriginal peoples. Type 2 diabetes affects First Nations and Métis people three to five times more than the general Northern Ontario population. Tuberculosis is also a very common health concern. The First Nations/Inuit tuberculosis rates are 10 times higher than for other people living in northern Ontario. Another big health concern throughout the aboriginal people is suicide. The aboriginal people experience higher rates of suicide, especially among Aboriginal youth. The suicide rate of First Nations youth is five to six times higher when compared to non-aboriginals. Suicide is the single greatest cause of injury-related deaths for Aboriginal people.
Ontario has the largest amount of aboriginal population in Canada, which is why they should be receiving better health care. The aboriginal population in Ontario has a very poor health care status compared to non-aboriginal population. In order to reduce the gap between the health status of aboriginals and non-aboriginals, big changes will have to be made to the culturally sensitive public polices. (Dr. Chandrakant P. Shah. 2005, page. 6)
Health status and housing conditions have been studied. Most natives lack proper household amenities and overcrowding also is a problem. Living conditions such as overcrowding of dwellings, poor sanitation, limited food and water supply and underserviced homes all contribute to the health and well being of this population group. Overcrowding can greatly increase the risk of transmitting diseases such as tuberculosis, hepatitis A, and shigellosis. Studies have reported that these diseases have a higher rate in provinces that have a higher population of aboriginals, such as Ontario. (Dr. Chandrakant P. Shah. 2005, page. 21)
Although the health of some Aboriginal peoples is gradually improving, it is generally still poorer than the health of non-Aboriginal peoples living in Ontario. The Aboriginal Peoples Survey indicates that the most commonly reported chronic health conditions for Aboriginal peoples in Ontario...