Bourke Aboriginal Health Service in Australia

Subject: Healthcare Institution
Pages: 8
Words: 2008
Reading time:
8 min
Study level: College


According to Bourke Health Service (n. d.), Bourke is located to the northwest of Sydney along the Darling River. is a town with a population of about 4000 people (Linke n.d). The area boasts of a health facility which is referred to as the Bourke Health service. This facility has a multipurpose service including the mental health, drug, and alcohol program as well as Wanaaring and Enngonia health clinics.

Populations and health

A range of health services available in that community

According to Linke (n. d.), Bourke hospital provides a wide range of services to people living in that community. Some of the services offered include palliative care services, aged care, general medical services, low risk obstetric, and minor surgical and emergency health care. Linke (n. d.) contends that this wide range of services is provided by a team of employees which consists of medical and nursing staff as well as other staff who provide supportive services.

Linke (n. d.) adds that some of the services provided by this other medical personnel include speech therapy, nutrition, and dietetics, pediatrics, Ophthalmology, Endocrinology, Ear, Nose & Throat, Dermatology, and Psychiatry (Linke n. d.).

Cultural groups or special populations exist in the Bourke community

Linke (n. d.) claims that the community has about 4000 people, most of whom are indigenous Australians. It has been established that the aboriginal people are more likely to succumb to illnesses compared to the other NSW residents. Linke (n. d) further claims that the aboriginal people have a higher chance of being admitted to the hospital because of respiratory diseases. Additionally, (Linke n.d) adduces that the aboriginal people are more likely to be admitted to the hospital due to injuries or even poisoning. The aboriginal people are more likely to be admitted on social admission as compared to the other residents who live in this community (Linke n.d.).

Linke (n. d.) further claims that the aboriginal people are faced with transport issues when it comes to accessing the health care facilities.

Social determinants of health

According to Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (2012), social determinants of health can be defined as the conditions under which the people in a particular area live, work, and grow. These social determinants of health are influenced by the distribution of resources at both the local and national levels (Centres for Disease Control and Prevention 2012). According to Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (2012), if these social determinants are not looked at carefully, it can result in the inability of the government to realize equity in the provision of health care services (2012).

Since the community under consideration is not well endowed with a lot of resources like other areas, there is the provision of poor quality healthcare services. This can be evidenced by the fact that the area does not have enough health facilities. Additionally, the area does not have enough transport facilities which further puts a strain on their ability to access health facilities (Linke n. d.). Furthermore, the low socio-economic status of the aboriginal people hinders them from accessing quality health care (Linke n. d.).

Workforce and service models

The models of service delivery

According to Stuart (2006), the reason why an appropriate model of service delivery should be adopted by the medical facility is the prevailing discrepancy in the quality of health care services that are provided in the urban areas and the rural areas. In Australia, people living in rural areas have always been accorded low-quality health care services (Feldman 2003). This is attributable to several factors like fewer healthcare providers, geographical isolation, and the fact that the people in the rural areas are at a higher risk of being injured (Stuart 2006).

It can also be pointed out that areas with a high concentration of indigenous people lack the medical care facilities that are required to address the health needs of the people who live in those localities (Rosenblatt and Hart 2000). The model of service delivery which is used in urban settings is not applicable in rural areas (Stuart 2006). It can be claimed that the model of service delivery used in urban settings is not responsive to the needs of those living in rural areas (Stuart 2006). According to Stuart (2006), the model used in the rural areas need to be specific and targeted to the needs of the residents in those areas.

In this regard, the model which can be used by the medical facility is the private health model whose major objective is to recruit and retain medical professionals. The medical doctors can thus be used to provide a variety of services to the local community (Harris 2010). Linke (n. d.) adduces that specialist doctor’s visit the medical facility from time to time to provide specialist services to the patients.

Another model that can be used to enhance the delivery of health care in Bourke is the outreach services. This entails taking care of those patients who are in remote areas. One method which has enhanced the outreach services is telemedicine which is also referred to as telehealth. This is the use of technology to transmit the medical information of a patient to a specialist. This enables patients who are in remote areas to receive quality medical care and treatment (Atack 2012).

The medical workforce in Bourke NSW, Australia community

According to Linke (n. d.), the medical workforce of in Burke NSW, Australia community consists of a medical doctor, specialist nurses, primary healthcare nurses, aboriginal health workers, and specialist nurses. The role of the medical doctor is to diagnose the ailment of the patient and prescribe the most appropriate treatment (Linke n. d.). The nurses are then charged with the responsibility of enforcing the treatment which has been prescribed by the medical doctor (British Medical Association 2012).

Rosenblatt & Hart (2000) argue that the effect of one GP leaving employment without replacement lowers the number of medical personnel who can attend to the patients. This results in a situation where there are fewer doctors to take care of the patients. This might end up putting a strain on the remaining doctors who have to contend with a bigger workload. This could hurt the quality of health care which is provided to the patients (Feldman 2003).

Recruitment and retention strategies that might sustain the medical workforce

According to Feldman (2003), one of the greatest challenges that the management of this healthcare center might face is attracting highly skilled employees. Additionally, after recruiting these talented employees, the management will need to have appropriate strategies in place to retain them. In this regard, the management will need to identify the new employees who have a greater potential to grow and ensure that they are provided with growth opportunities. The retention strategy should be geared towards retaining highly skilled and talented personnel in this medical healthcare facility. This is important since the most valuable assets for any organization are the skills and the expertise of the employees.

Erasmus, Swanepoel & Westhuizen (2005) contend that to recruit the most qualified employees, the management will need to deliver health care services in the best possible way and organize events whose effect will be able to boost the positive image of the company.

The retention strategies should enable the management to identify the most valuable employees and provide them with growth opportunities so that they are less likely to seek employment opportunities elsewhere. Additionally, the management should consider giving a reasonable remuneration to their employees as monetary rewards can serve as a great motivating factor. The health service provider should consider the effect of giving reasonable remuneration against the cost of retraining new employees (Morris, Chang & Dawson 2006).

Rural and Remote Practice

The role which I have chosen to work in this community is that of a medical doctor. The role of a medical doctor is to evaluate the symptoms, undertake the necessary tests to carry out a proper diagnosis of the illness, and, where necessary, refer the patients to specialist doctors for further treatment. Additionally, the medical doctor advises the patient on the most appropriate treatment as well as assessing their progress (British Medical Association n. d.).

Case scenario about an adult with newly diagnosed type II diabetes

According to Tripathy, Chandalia & Das (2012), a person suffering from type II diabetes displays the following symptoms: dry mouth, headaches, blurred vision, tiredness, increased thirst, dry mouth, frequent urination, and drastic weight loss. In very extreme cases, the patient might even lose consciousness.

Cultural safety

Medical personnel working for this health facility should be aware of the cultural dynamics which adversely affect the ability of diabetic patients to access quality health care service in this community. Moreover, the medical personnel should be aware of the cultural practices which hinder diabetic patients from accessing health care services. In this regard, the medical personnel should be competent in dealing with people of diverse cultures to enhance equitable delivery of health care services as outlined in the government policy (Brascoupé and Waters 2009).


The medical personnel should ensure that the confidentiality of diabetic patients is observed at all times. Confidentiality entails that the medical personnel will not disclose the medical condition of the diabetic patient unless authorized to do so by the patient himself. According to Walker and Nixon (2010), lack of confidentiality on the part of the medical personnel would discourage diabetic patients from accessing health care services when faced with illnesses which could have a detrimental effect on their overall health.

Additionally, the medical personnel must also ensure that all the methods which he might employ in treating the patient do not in any way infringe on the confidentiality principle as outlined in the medical professional code of ethics (Paola, Walker, and Nixon 2010).

Primary health care

The major goal of primary health care is to ensure the equitable provision of health care services to all citizens. In this regard, the medical personnel should ensure that there is the participation of the key stakeholders in the community where the health care facility is situated. Additionally, the medical personnel should aim at bringing down disparities that hinder diabetic patients from being able to access quality health care services.

Moreover, service delivery should be such that it is responsive to the needs of diabetic patients. One of the challenges of diabetic patients in rural areas is transport. Therefore, the medical services provider should consider transport facilities for diabetic patients (Humphreys and Wakerman n. d.).

Inter-professional practice

These calls for the medical personnel to cooperate with the other employees in the medical facility to ensure that the quality of services that are provided to the diabetic patients are of superior quality. This entails that all the members of staff at the medical facility (support staff and the medical personnel) work together as a team in the provision of quality health care services to those patients.

By cooperating, the employees of this medical facility will enhance their productivity by pooling their strengths and using them for the benefit of the patients who visit that health facility from time to time. This ensures that the diabetic patients consistently get quality health care services (Health Force Ontario 2006).

Use of computer-based technology

The medical personnel working for this medical facility are required to demonstrate efficiency in working with computers. In this regard, the medical personnel should be proficient with such programs as Ferret, Windows, Excel spreadsheets, and the database programs which are used by the health care provider. Computer-based technology can be used in the storage of medical records of diabetic patients. This would allow for easier retrieval of the medical history of the diabetic patients during treatment and perhaps helps in avoiding mistakes which could aggravate the condition of the patient (Shortliffe & Cimino 2006).

Computer technology can be used to monitor the progress of diabetic patients in rural and remote areas. This can be used to overcome the challenge of the shortage of medical personnel in those areas (Downey 2012).

Reference List

Atack, C 2012, Telehealth technology lets health care professionals are in two places at once. Web.

Bourke Health Service: Bourke Health Service – Overview n. d.. Web.

Brascoupé, S and Waters, C 2009, Cultural Safety: Exploring the Applicability of the Concept of Cultural Safety to Aboriginal Health and Community Wellness. Web.

British Medical Association: What is the role of a doctor? n. d. Web.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Social Determinants of Health 2012. Web.

Downey, R 2012, Telemedicine Technology Benefits Patients in Remote Rural Areas. Web.

Erasmus, B Swanepoel, B & Westhuizen, E 2005, South African Human Resource Management for the Public Sector, Juta and Company Ltd, Claremont.

Feldman, H 2003, The nursing shortage: strategies for recruitment and retention in clinical practice and education, Springer Publishing House, New York.

Harris, M 2010, Handbook of Home Health Care Administration, Jones & Bartlett Learning, Sudbury.

Health exchange: Social determinants of health n. d.. Web.

Health Force Ontario: What is inter-professional care and what is it addressing? 2006. Web.

Humphreys, J & Wakerman, J n. d., Primary health care in rural and remote Australia: achieving equity of access and outcomes through national reform. Web.

Linke, L n. d., Taking Primary Health Care to the Bourke community. Web.

Morris, Z Chang, L & Dawson, S 2006, Policy futures for UK health, Radcliffe Publishing, Cambridge.

Paola, F Walker, R & Nixon, L 2010, Medical Ethics and Humanities, Jones & Bartlett Learning, Sudbury.

Rosenblatt, R & Hart, L 2000, ‘Physicians and rural America: provider shortages in rural America’, Western Journal of Medicine, vol.173 no.5 p.1.

Shortliffe, E & Cimino, J 2006, Biomedical Informatics: Computer Applications in Health Care and Biomedicine, Springer Publishing, New York.

Stuart, J 2006, Allied Health Service Delivery Models: Can a private model work in a remote area? . Web.

Tripathy, B Chandalia, H & Das, A 2012, Rssdi: Textbook of Diabetes Mellitus, Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers Ltd, New Delhi.