Health according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) is a ‘state of complete physical, mental, and social well being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.’ Which WHO later corrected to ‘Health depends on our ability to understand and manage the interaction between human activities and the physical and biological environment.’ as the original lacked in versatility (Crisp & Taylor, 2004, p. 92). Which highlights that health is not defined by individual aspects but determined by different factors of health being that of biological, environmental and social. This essay will go on to discuss the health of Victorians from the perspective of the model of the social determinants of health, which entails 10 main factors being the social gradient, stress, early life, social exclusion, work, unemployment, social support, addiction, food and transport.
The cause of people’s health status has a lot to do with their actions and with actions comes circumstances that contribute to the individuals’ health status which is usually termed the determinants of health (Smith, Marshall, Williams, Keleher, Murphy, Dobson & Ward, 2003). The model of the determinants of health can be represented by the environmental, biological and social factors that raise or lower the levels of health in a population. This helps the population understand trends in health and why some people have better or worse health than others and also provides a better opportunity to promote good health within a community. The lifestyles that individuals or groups lead have a huge impact on there health either in a positive or negative factor. Negative factor would be smoking and drinking combined with a low social economic status increases possibilities if ill health and diseases known as the risk factor. On the other hand high intake of a healthy variety of veggies, fruit and meat as well as exercise is a positive influence as well as a protective factor (Australia’s Health, 2004).
Our social determinants are strongly influenced by our social policies, psychological environment, up bringing, education, income, unemployment, friendships/relationships, social exclusion, drugs and alcohol, access to services and supplies and healthy ways of transport. These main social factors are all interrelated and have an impact on each other factor as well as other determinants in the model. The solid facts are the factors outlined above and these are aimed at reducing inequalities in health within communities (Marmot, 2005).
The social gradient plays a great role in the health of Victorians as it strongly affects their health outcomes in the present and for the future. As people on the lower end of the social scales usually have at least twice the risks of serious illness and premature death than those that are near the top end. Income, wealth, level of education, social influences, is more or less what determines our social status. People that are rich and have a good education tend to have better health outcomes than people who are poor (Keleher & Murphy, 2006). That reason being the wealthy people are the better access to resources such as health related goods and services being better food, housing recreation and health care, psychological benefits (aust heath, 2003). One of the disadvantages of poor education, insecure employment in our society is that people tend to associate themselves amongst other people in the same conditions and therefore find themselves in a rut with little chance of helping themselves out. This is why there is a strong emphasize on education in Victoria as it opens up good future opportunities and income potential and provides knowledge and skills to improve ones health (aus health). Because of an aging population and high level of claims in private health insurance in Victorian families will pay up to $150 more than other states are to blame (Jones, 2005). The reasons are due to access to health services in rural areas as well...
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