9.1 HSC Core 1: Health Priorities in Australia

This module should occupy approximately 30% of total course time.r621244_4172517.jpg

Module Description

This compulsory module examines the health status of Australians and investigates, in depth, the current health priority issues in Australia. Students identify and justify the choice of priority issues and examine the roles that the health system and health promotion play in achieving better health for all Australians.

In this module, students investigate the following critical questions:

  • How are priority issues for Australia’s health identified?
  • What are the priority issues for improving Australia’s health?
  • What role do health care facilities and services play in achieving better health for
    all Australians?
  • What actions are needed to address Australia’s health priorities?
    In this module, students learn how health can be promoted by personal and community action and by policies and services at all levels of responsibility. The module introduces concepts of health inequities in Australia that are further explored in the options module Equity and Health.


    Outcomes

    A student:
    H1 describes the nature and justifies the choice of Australia’s health priorities
    H2 analyses and explains the health status of Australians in terms of current trends and groups most at risk
    H3 analyses the determinants of health and health inequities
    H4 argues the case for health promotion based on the Ottawa Charter
    H5 explains the different roles and responsibilities of individuals, communities and governments in addressing Australia’s health priorities
    H14 argues the benefits of health-promoting actions and choices that promote social justice
    H15 critically analyses key issues affecting the health of Australians and proposes ways of working towards better health for all
    H16 devises methods of gathering, interpreting and communicating information about health and physical activity concepts.


How are priority issues for Australia’s health identified?
Students learn about:
Students learn to:
> measuring health status
- role of epidemiology
- measures of epidemiology (mortality, infant mortality, morbidity, life expectancy)
> critiquethe use of epidemiology to describe health status by considering questions such as:
- what can epidemiology tell us?
- who uses these measures?
- do they measure everything about health status?
> use tables and graphs from health reports to analyse current trends in life expectancy and major causes of morbidity and mortality for the general population and comparing males and females
> identifying priority health issues
- social justice principles
- priority population groups
- prevalence of condition
- potential for prevention and early intervention
- costs to the individual and community
> argue the case for why decisions are made about health priorities by considering questions such as:
- how do we identify priority issues for Australia’s health?
- what role do the principles of social justice play?
- why is it important to prioritise?
What are the priority issues for improving Australia’s health?
Students learn about:
> groups experiencing health inequities
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
- socioeconomically disadvantaged people
- people in rural and remote areas
- overseas-born people
- the elderly
- people with disabilities
Students learn to:
> research and analyse Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and ONE other group experiencing health inequities by investigating:
- the nature and extent of the health inequities
- the sociocultural, socioeconomic and environmental determinants
- the roles of individuals, communities and governments in addressing the health inequities


> high levels of preventable chronic disease, injury and mental health problems
- cardiovascular disease (CVD)
- cancer (skin, breast, lung)
- diabetes
- respiratory disease
- injury
- mental health problems and illnesses
> research and analyse CVD, cancer and ONE other condition listed by investigating:
- the nature of the problem
- extent of the problem (trends)
- risk factors and protective factors
- the sociocultural, socioeconomic and environmental determinants
- groups at risk

> a growing and ageing population
- healthy ageing
- increased population living with chronic disease and disability
- demand for health services and workforce shortages
- availability of carers and volunteers.
> assess the impact of a growing and ageing population on:
- the health system and services
- health service workforce
- carers of the elderly
- volunteer organisations.
What role do health care facilities and services play in achieving better health for all Australians?
Students learn about:
Students learn to:
> health care in Australia
- range and types of health facilities and services
- responsibility for health facilities and services
- equity of access to health facilities and services
- health care expenditure versus expenditure on early intervention and prevention
- impact of emerging new treatments and technologies on health care, eg cost and access, benefits of early detection
- health insurance: Medicare and private
> evaluate health care in Australia by investigating issues of access and adequacy in relation to social justice principles. Questions to explore include:
- how equitable is the access and support for all sections of the community?
- how much responsibility should the community assume for individual health problems?
> describe the advantages and disadvantages of Medicare and private health insurance, eg costs, choice, ancillary benefits
> complementary and alternative health care approaches
- reasons for growth of complementary and alternative health products and services
- range of products and services available
- how to make informed consumer choices
> critically analyse complementary and alternative health care approaches by exploring questions such as:
- how do you know who to believe?
- what do you need to help you make informed decisions?


What actions are needed to address Australia’s health priorities?
Students learn about:
Students learn to:
> health promotion based on the five action areas of the Ottawa Charter
- levels of responsibility for health promotion
- the benefits of partnerships in health promotion, eg government sector, non-government agencies and the local community
- how health promotion based on the Ottawa Charter promotes social justice
- the Ottawa Charter in action
> argue the benefits of health promotion based on:
- individuals, communities and governments working in partnership
- the five action areas of the Ottawa Charter
> investigate the principles of social justice and the responsibilities of individuals, communities and governments under the action areas of the Ottawa Charter
> critically analyse the importance of the five action areas of the Ottawa Charter through a study of TWO health promotion initiatives related to Australia’s health priorities

SAMPLE QUESTIONS FOR THIS CORE

1. Identify and explain the risk factors and protective factors for cardiovascular disease?
2. Evaluate the following statement, "why is Australia referred to an ageing population"?
3. Justify why skin cancer has been identified as a health priority area in Australia.
4. "Public health care vs private health care," critically analyse this statement?
5. Define the following terms, mortality, morbidity, life expectancy, infant mortality and epidemiology



VIDEOS







Australian public health system vs private health system






What is Cardiovascular Disease (CVD)? Watch and take note of the impact that CVD has created.






I thought it be interested for students to observe how a heart attack occurs. In the video you can observe the immense pressure and strain on the heart during the heart attack.






USEFUL WEBSITES FOR THIS CORE: 
AIHW Health Priority Areas
Australian Bureau of Statistics
Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission of Australia
Cancer Council NSW
National Tobacco Campaign
Kidsafe NSW
Beyond Blue
Practical Living for seniors
Australian Natural Therapists association
Groups experiencing Health inequities