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PUBH632 Public Health Law And Policy

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PUBH632 Public Health Law And Policy Question: An open letter is intended to inform or to persuade the target about an issue, and for the target to be publicly informed (i.e. before the wider audience that have also read the letter). The purpose of an open letter may be: • To draw public attention to an important issue that is not well recognised • To express support or criticism towards a certain political position or policy proposal • To influence Members of Parliament, Ministers/Government, corporations or organisations • To start a public debate or political dialogue.   Demonstrate specialised knowledge of public health law and policy in terms of function,importance and relevance to public health practice  Critique public health legislation and policies in relation to interests and influences involved, such as political imperatives and stakeholder advocacy  Assess implementation of public health law and policy in terms of impacts, outputs and outcomes using contemporary methods, approaches or standards. Answer: We are writing this letter on behalf of the Refugee Council of Australia with a concerned focus on the current immigration policies meant for the refugees in our country. As per the recent immigration health policy, the refugees arriving from high-risk countries are not subjected to medical assessment if the duration of stay is temporary. But the more serious change that has been very recent is the immigration policy that is supposed to act as deterrent to those arriving without visas; in this case it implies the immigrants who have fled their original nations. Nothing is intended here to disregard the national integrity but the reforms are supposed to put considerable impact on the immigrants who either arrive by boat or are detained somewhere at remote locations without ever being granted entry to Australia. Opaque detention system and health assessments imply unethical practices. As per a generated report, it has been found that visa systems and immigration health policies which are currently active interfere in the nation’s humanitarian phase and its reputation in the international arena. In a way, the asylum seekers are being completely rejected at the first place (Sanggaran & Zion, 2016). Being loyal to dual sides has become the major problem of healthcare professionals who often suffer from ethical dilemmas because of these stringent immigration policies. While their employers want to comply with the government, these people want to perform ethical practices and serve every care seeker impartially. Unfortunately this is not the case with refugees. The changes in immigration policies have been witnessed when students with either temporary or permanent visas are not entitled to special significance or additional health assessments (FSCI, 2017). The increase in influx of refugees from overseas regions has been large in recent years following the people who have experienced persecution in their parent land or have been through humanitarian crisis. Over 50,000 refugees have arrived on the Australian coasts within a period of 5 years up to 2013. As a politically hostile response, the immigrants who arrive through boats have been rejected from entering the country by means of changes introduced in Australian immigration policies. The conditions for refugees have been worsened further because of the penal actions taken against asylum seekers and under-transparent detention system. Just to cite an example of our detention system, presently such situation can be witnessed if somebody visits Manus Island where Rohingya muslims have been detained (RCA, 2017). We strongly support the critics who question on the Australia’s reputation on the Global theme of human rights when it comes to sending the immigrants back from arrival and crediting it a measure towards preventing death at seas. Some do not realize that the just like the resistance offered to further asylum, the reforms in Visa program and related immigration policies are motivated on the basis of racial factors. Notably it has been reported as per data provided by BBC that assessment on entry of asylum seekers is carried at offshore locations like Nauru and Manus thereby, leaving the chances for inhuman treatment and the inside-story of such assessments. Some experts discuss about the lifestyle degradation of Australians while completely ignoring the conditions of those immigrants who yet haven’t entered the mainland (BBC, 2016). The reforms in Australian Immigration Health Policies as of the year 2017 further highlights that Australian media has denigrated the image of entire refugee population under a single domain without considering the origins and belief systems of diverse groups. The table provided previously illustrates the vagueness of criticality that is emphasized by the Australian media regarding asylum seekers. According to AO Officer Menadue (2013), a research paper released by Australian parliamentary library in past year revealed that the rate of refugee influx in Australia is comparable with that of other OECD countries. At both sides, the rate of refugee inflows almost coincided in the year 2011. In fact, the rate of inflow in Australia has declined since the year 2001. The Australian media has been aggressive in its stance for welcoming immigrants. According to Koziol (2016), in the year 2011, Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed something unusual. Subsidized mental health services, as was brought into effect for the welfare of refugee population, in actual practice brought negligible change as the immigrants who were non-English people did not have a proper access to the health services. The media argues on the privileges gained by immigrants while in real practice, change in immigration policies cannot compensate for the unfair practices already prevalent in the country. The findings from various credible sources cite that the immigrants and non-English speakers are at disadvantage as compared to the nationals but the same is not highlighted by the media. Especially, mental health services have been almost ignored when it comes to outsiders. These outsiders dominantly include the refugees that seek shelter because of persecutions and torture in their parent land and therefore are likely to have suffered more from psychological implications.   Despite acknowledgment of government on oppressive regimes being the cause of high influx of refugees, the modified immigration policies are a sort of reluctance for accepting those coming through seas. Mandatory detention for indefinite periods is observed by Australian allies as an unfriendly behaviour towards asylum seekers. Considerably, these altered polices have caused the physicians to choose from conflicted interests between political deterrent for refugees and acceptable, ethical & fair healthcare services. For example, a doctor who treats ill refugee children is supposed to discharge them back to detention centre. This is not a proper practice sending ill conditioned children to detention are highly damaging to their recovery rates (Kraal & Vertovec, 2017). The immigration health policies can be related to the general dimensions also. Filtering out immigrants for high-skilled vs. low-skilled professions is a two folded argument. Many have not observed the wider aspects of either of the two. The preconceived idea has been that all provisions for jobs that are meant for immigrant visa holders are a burden to the present population of Australia (Louis, et al 2010). Very less are aware of the margin drawn between the low-skilled operations and the high-skilled operations. The latter needs competence and adequate level of training which the present government might not be able to achieve at faster rate. Thus to compensate the vacancies for highly competitive posts, it is required of the legislators to consider the hurdles the reformed immigration policies might introduce by making the arrival of immigrants almost impossible, especially for those immigrants who are skilled and prove to be assets. As far as the reforms are concerned, the new ideas are recommendable to attenuate the over-influx of low-skilled immigrants but it should never be a followed as a discriminatory practice based solely on racial backgrounds. To support the assertion, few experts on the corresponding topic strongly argue that high-skilled immigrants shall prove to be more productive to Australia than the low-skilled immigrants when it comes to payment of taxes and reception of selected services if the health provisions are made favourable for refugees. The major conflict that the government can face is the conflict between capricious outcomes of economy and ethical values for treating outsiders with discrimination (Alvarez, 2017). Under the current standards defined under Australian immigration policies, the people who have been detained at offshore locations somehow are subjected to healthcare services that are operated using local subsidiaries. But the problem with these subsidiaries is that they are owned by international companies which again demonstrate favour towards Australian political institutions and therefore do not provide ethical healthcare services.  The health assessments are carried out while the immigrants are dog-tired and unclean. There are documented evidences present to reveal the dark side of medical assessment including destruction of medical records, absence or intentional emptying of required medications, ignored and unregistered individuals etc. In addition to the above opinions, there are other significant facts to support our concern over the reformed immigrant policies announced by the prime minister. During the alterations brought about in the Visa program, no research organisations were included which is quite a notable thing to ponder upon. The policies have been framed in accordance to the recommendations received from departments concerned with employments, academics and training of the workforce. HR departments have acquired expertise in recruitment procedures and do not possess the required analytical abilities to design strategy for workforce generation. The 3 aspects of reformation including the need for a defined line of proficiency in English, a non-uniform selection criteria for perceived Australian value and a less reasonable residing period of 4 years are not justifiable even in case of real assets whose only limitation is literary capacities. In a subtle way, the multicultural image that Australia is recognised for at the global arena has been challenged due to the tightened visa programs. It is apparent that the policies are used intensively for achieving political ends within the country. The altered policy for health assessment is a part of such ill political agenda (Killedar & Harris, 2017). As the Senior Policy Advisor of RCA, on behalf of the corresponding NGO representing the refugee population in the country, our opinions are all justifiable and relevant as the documented evidences belonging to various authentic sources including reports, statistics and news article. By putting the above mentioned subject to the light of the concerned area of control and assuming your powerful position as a senator, we people call you to revisit the reforms being introduced to the immigration health policies of Australia and consider the proposal made for implementing changes to the immigration policies as it deems necessary and sounds fair and justifiable (Olliff, 2010). The entire team at Refugee Council of Australia would appreciate your future decisions to hold meetings for exchanging insights on the same sensitive issue. References Alvarez, P. (2017). Is a ‘Merit-Based’ Immigration System a Good Idea? Retrieved 22 September 2017 from Buse, K., Mays, N., & Walt, G. (2012). Making health policy. McGraw-Hill Education (UK). Chang, C. (2017). Why Australia’s 457 visa system is a rort and needs to be reformed. Retrieved 22 September 2017 from Department of Immigration and Border Protection (2017). Migration programme statistics Retrieved 22 September 2017 from Formula Corporate Solutions India, 2017. AUSTRALIA – Changes to Immigration Health Policy.  Retrieved 29 September 2017 from Gothe-Snape, J. (2017). Criticism and confusion inside government over 457 changes. Retrieved 21 September 2017 from Killedar, A. and Harris, P., 2017. Australia’s refugee policies and their health impact: a review of the evidence and recommendations for the Australian Government. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health. Kraal, K., & Vertovec, S. (2017). Citizenship in European cities: Immigrants, local politics and integration policies. Routledge. Louis, W. R., Duck, J. M., Terry, D. J., & Lalonde, R. N. (2010). Speaking out on immigration policy in Australia: Identity threat and the interplay of own opinion and public opinion. Journal of Social Issues, 66(4), 653-672. Menadue, J., 2013. The Flow of Asylum Seekers to Australia follows world trends. John Menadue. Retrieved 29 September 2017 from Olliff, L. (2010). What works: employment strategies for refugee and humanitarian entrants. Sydney: Refugee Council of Australia. Parliament of Australia (2017). Senator Nick Xenophon. Retrieved 21 September 2017 from Regional Council of Australia, 2017. Recent changes in Australian refugee policy. Retrieved 29 September 2017 from Sanggaran, J.P., Haire, B. and Zion, D., 2016. The health care consequences of Australian immigration policies. PLoS medicine, 13(2), p.e1001960. Soldatic, K., Somers, K., Buckley, A., & Fleay, C. (2017). ‘Nowhere to be found’: disabled refugees and asylum seekers within the Australian resettlement landscape. The British Broadcasting Corporation (2017). Australia asylum: Why is it controversial? Retrieved 21 September 2017 from

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