Analysis Of Theoretical Debates Relevant To Human Service Organisations
Analysis of theoretical debates relevant to human service organizations
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Analysis of theoretical debates relevant to human service organizations
Discrimination can be described as the prejudicial treatment of various categories of people based on race, gender, sex or religion. Despite living in the 21st century where almost every country in the world allows citizen a right of free will and freedom of speech, yet the topics such as discrimination is always on the rise. Whether it be schools, offices or even hospitals people face discrimination based on their ethnicity. Specifically talking about hospitals, the discrimination is not only based on cultural differences, but also on the social status basis. For instance, nurses are considered inferior to physicians. Also, the discrimination in hospitals not only occurs between the staff but the patients are also involved in this process. Many patients discriminate the health professionals based on their ethnicity and many patients are treated differently by the health professionals (Henry & Mooney, 2004).
Due to the multiple waves of immigration, the diversity in the population increases significantly. Europeans were the people who classified people based on their looks and considered blonde hair and fair skin people superior to the people having dark skin and dark hair. In 1788 after the arrival of British settlers the colonization began in Australia. Soon after the colonization, a new wave of discrimination against the indigenous people of Australia started. Even today this issue is prevailing in our society. According to the survey conducted in 2010 by the University of Sydney, the racism against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders was four times more than the non-Aboriginal people's face. Many laws were made to protect citizens from racism such as the Racial and Religious Tolerance Act 2001 according to which publishing anything that promotes hatred towards the specific community or baseless accusations against any religion was considered illegal. Additionally, under the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 it is prohibited and considered illegal to discriminate against people based on their nationality, colour, or ethnicity (Baird & Heron, 2012). While discussing the workplace discrimination many laws such as Fair work Act 2009 and Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 were made according to which discrimination based on gender or ethnicity were considered illegal and punishable also equal opportunity should be given to the people without focusing on their gender (Secretariat, 2016). However, despite these laws, people still, face discrimination widely.
Health care institution is responsible for providing treatments to the patients, with the help of specialized staff and equipment is called hospitals. Due to several environmental issues such as pollution and natural disasters people have a close relationship with the hospitals. However, discrimination against patients in the hospital is a common issue. The discrimination can be of many types, typically, when going to the hospital for any medical emergency everyone expected to be treated equally like other people yet some hospitals deny certain treatments based on religious grounds or based on gender and ethnicity. Generally, most of the Catholic hospitals deny certain treatments like abortion even when it is not possible to give birth to a healthy baby or due to complications that could be fatal for the mother. Similarly, discussing the transgender community many hospitals deny the transition operations that is sex reassignment surgery. Almost 42% of the transgender people reported being verbally abused by the health care professionals and denial of treatment even in case of severe medical emergency just because they are gay. Additionally, it is the responsibility of the doctor to treat the patient equally without judging there past or present however many patients having criminal contexts are discriminated at hospitals and are not able to access health care facilities.
The patients’ discrimination starts when they enter any health care facility. Every hospital requires patients to fill a form known as a patient profile in which they have to list every detail such as gender, race financial status and, etc. Even after the birth parents are required to identify the gender of the baby as male or female thus starting the discrimination process.
In contrast, many doctors also face discrimination from their patients. This is very common for doctors who are immigrants and are of different ethnicity. Many patients deny being treated by the doctor who belongs to a minority or immigrant community and often rates the physician bad during the patient satisfaction survey causing them serious consequences. Many doctors have reported losing their job because of the discrimination as well as they suffer from many mental disorders such as depression (Sundararajan & Allotey, 2007).
While discussing the discrimination in the hospitals the discrimination not only occurs on the patient-doctor level but also within the staff. The doctors belonging from minority or immigrant communities often face discrimination by their fellow doctors. This happens when the fellow doctors speak rudely or pass inappropriate remarks based on the accent, way of dressing and culture of the doctors who belong to the minority. Many doctors face discrimination based on their religion as well and singled out during any celebration and tease them by the things that are prohibited in their religion. Even the hospitals' administration targets the minority and immigrants physicians as they are often evaluated by the administration than other physicians and are paid less (Johnstone & Kanitsaki, 2009). Also, the administration even says them harsh things based on their races. Not only based on ethnicity many health care professionals face discrimination based on their physical disability. For instance, a physician who has a walking disability in one has to face the hate remarks based on his or her disability. Also, despite disabling quota allotted by the government, many hospitals are not willing to hire doctors or nurses who have any disability and often hire other doctors on this quota.
In hospitals, an issue that is often neglected is the discrimination against nurses. Most of the physicians consider nurses as inferior. They have to work more than their shifts and are often paid less than the work they do. Not just by the administration or physicians they face discrimination from patients as well. Patients consider them as their servant who is responsible to take of them although a nurse must help patients yet the verbal abuse they face by the patients is intolerable (Kouta & Kaite, 2011). Specifically, nurses who do not belong to the local community and are immigrants or are of a different race are the most targeted ones. They are overlooked for promotion just because of their race and are often paid much less than other nurses (Allan & Smith, 2009).
Health care facilities are also not immune to gender discrimination. Several cases show that people in hospitals were discriminated based on gender. For instance passing by a shop someone collapse people run to provide CPR and take the person to the hospital however in case if that someone is female people often feel resistant to perform CPR even when any female enters in the hospital for immediate treatment male nurse also resist to treat them rather they call female nurses to treat them. This discrimination occurs widely. Although one reason is the stereotypical society yet another reason that is often neglected is gender discrimination. Men are likelier to get immediate treatment as compared to females (Johar & Stavrunova, 2013). Even most of the health professionals are male. However recently after waiting for as long as 60 years females have outnumbered their male colleagues yet still the discrimination does not stop. On the other hand, not only females but males also face discrimination in many in the health care facilities. However, there is a huge pay gap between male and female doctors and specialists. Most of the male doctors and staff are paid more than females. In the context of nurses, many male nurses have to face discrimination and humiliation daily based on their career choice (Heikes, 1991). The Australian human rights commission received almost 93 complaints from male nurses under the Sex Discrimination Act. However, the number of nurses that did not register a complaint against discrimination is way high. Due to the stereotypical society norms and values males in the nursing profession are highly disgraced even the nursing profession is associated with females only and people are used to getting care by female nurses (Priceman, 2019). Due to this reason, they reject male nurse and pas derogatory comments. Additionally, male doctors in the field of gynecology also face this gender bias are discriminated based on their profession. Even other fellow doctors ridicule them because of their choice of career.
Due to discrimination several other issues also arise such as harassment and bullying in the workplace. Therefore it is important to finish the discrimination to avoid all these issues that are negatively influencing our society. Although, recently many people are in the favour of women empowerment are organizing events and movements regarding discrimination in the workplace. People especially females and transgender are more aware of their fundamental rights due to which they are speaking against the discrimination. However, hospitals must make committees that deal with issues like discrimination so that the people can be identified and punished who are discriminating against other people. Also, there is a need for government intervention in hospitals and reforming old policies and laws to vanish the discrimination and create equal opportunity for people regardless of their race, religion, gender, and ethnicity.
Allan, H. T., Cowie, H., & Smith, P. A. M. (2009). Overseas nurses’ experiences of discrimination: a case of racist bullying?. Journal of nursing management, 17(7), 898-906.
Baird, M., Williamson, S., & Heron, A. (2012). Women, work and policy settings in Australia in 2011. Journal of Industrial Relations, 54(3), 326-343.
Heikes, E. J. (1991). When men are the minority: The case of men in nursing. The Sociological Quarterly, 32(3), 389-401.
Henry, B. R., Houston, S., & Mooney, G. H. (2004). Institutional racism in Australian healthcare: a plea for decency. Medical Journal of Australia, 180(10), 517-520.
Johar, M., Jones, G., Keane, M. P., Savage, E., & Stavrunova, O. (2013). Discrimination in a universal health system: explaining socioeconomic waiting time gaps. Journal of health economics, 32(1), 181-194.
Johnstone, M. J., & Kanitsaki, O. (2009). The spectrum of ‘new racism’and discrimination in hospital contexts: A reappraisal. Collegian, 16(2), 63-69.
Kouta, C., & Kaite, C. P. (2011). Gender discrimination and nursing: α literature review. Journal of Professional Nursing, 27(1), 59-63.
Priceman, P. Male Nurses: Overcoming the Stigma.
Secretariat, C. (2016). Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012, Australia.
Sundararajan, V., Reidpath, D. D., & Allotey, P. (2007). Ethnicity, discrimination and health outcomes: a secondary analysis of hospital data from Victoria, Australia. Diversity in Health & Social Care, 4(1).
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