More on Racism in Health Care

When I was writing yesterday’s post and in contrast to it, I came across these posters from ANTaR — Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation. According to the ANTaR webpage, racism

has recently been recognised in a number of key reports as a threat to public health in Australia.

As a life stressor, racism directly and negatively:

  • affects the cardiovascular system causing high blood pressure/hypertension and heart disease
  • seriously affects mental health causing depression, anxiety and other psychological and psychiatric disorders
  • contributes to low birth weight of newborns, as well as premature birth

Three out of four Indigenous Australians experience racism in their everyday lives.

One study in Western Australia found that 52% of urban residents and 69% of residents of a regional centre revealed prejudice against Aboriginal Australians. Nearly a quarter of the Indigenous children under 12 years surveyed had experienced racism in the previous 6 months. This was associated with increased cannabis and alcohol consumption in these under 12 year olds.

I suspect one would see similar issues among the First Peoples and other minority communities in Canada.  [via Osocio]


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  1. #1 by JennJilks on Monday 31 May 2010 - 1023

    One of the issues I have seen in my years working is that of bias on anyone’s part! Many teachers with a middle class background do not understand their impoverished students, for example.

    It is my experience that bias comes in many forms: gender, race, culture. Imagine a Jewish student teacher who only attended private Jewish schools being paired with an associate teacher who was teaching in a predominantly Muslim school. That was my friend’s situation and it was an eye opener. My friend has spent many years learning about Muslim culture, religion and traditions in order to better understand her elementary students.

    Those trained in other parts of the world bring their society’s bias. It is a tricky prospect.

  2. #2 by R. May on Monday 07 June 2010 - 1552

    Considering I am whiter then white so usually not a target – that when I hear about instances of racism it makes me feel physically ill, I can’t even fathom the damage it does to someone directly targeted.

    For being so biologically intelligent, humans can be a bunch of dumb-asses! Excuse my language.

    I would venture that teh results would apply to bullying in general.

    My daughter has been instructed to be kind to everyone, even jerks, unless they are picking on someone else. Then she has permission to suckerpunch.

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