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Canada Specific Healthcare Question 2
What kind of problems would you encounter if you were practising in a location with a predominantly Native population?
I believe that the main issues that could be experienced when practicing in a predominantly native population centre around accessibility, as well as the cultural and socioeconomic differences that may present when treating patients. Firstly, due to physical restraints such as distance or a lack of effective transportation, it may be difficult to commute to patients, particularly if the terrain is particularly troublesome or arduous. This may also affect the provision of equipment and medication, influencing the level of care that patients receive. Secondly, one must consider the socioeconomic differences between urban and rural populations. Native populations can potentially be of a lower socioeconomic status, thus they may be unable to afford consultations and treatment, or alternatively the physical means of accessing healthcare, such as the transport available. Another aspect of socioeconomic status is education; if individuals are not educated on the benefits of gaining access to healthcare – or what services are available to them – it is unlikely that they would attend consultations and seek treatment. Furthermore, due to cultural differences, patients may be slightly wary of accepting treatment from professionals from elsewhere, as often these populations are enclosed tight knit communities, influencing the doctor-patient rapport that is essential when treating patients effectively.