A former diplomat and a former medical student have written an ebook to help foreign medical students and researchers find their way into the Australian medical system.
“Colonial Internal Medicine,” by former diplomat Paul Knaus, a former international medical officer, and his doctoral student, Mina Gansuri, is available as a free download.
The book is divided into two parts, which cover topics such as the basics of health care in colonial South Africa, health care for colonised countries in the 19th century, the history of health in Australia and Australia’s colonial past.
The first part is called “The Colonial Healthcare System,” and it discusses how the health system in the country was structured at the time.
“There were a few basic things,” Mr Knauses told ABC News.
One was that the government, which controlled the country’s medical profession, required that doctors who were to treat patients in the colonial hospitals, had to be educated and have qualifications.
Then there was the fact that colonisation meant that the medical profession had to adapt.
And the second thing was that, at the beginning of colonial times, there was a lot of pressure on the doctors, because they had to provide care for the colonisers, who were mostly the British.
“So the medical establishment was basically made up of colonisers and a lot more than that,” Mr Gansuris said.
“And there were a lot, a lot different groups of people.”
The authors of the book also outline how health care was administered at the colonial times.
There was a shortage of health professionals and the British took advantage of that, the authors write.
They also point out that many colonised people had no access to medical treatment.
In fact, Dr Knaeus and Dr Gansurs notes that while there was some kind of health insurance for colonisers at the start of the country, it didn’t cover their basic needs.
What about colonisation’s impact on the medical system?
According to the authors, medical care was largely confined to the colonised, who, as a result, suffered a high incidence of diseases such as dysentery and pneumonia.
“It’s been a real struggle for many people to get access to care,” Mr Siegel said.
He also noted that many diseases were endemic in the colonising population, with malaria and diarrhoea being the most common.
Many colonised Australians also had to deal with the disease and treatment of those conditions, which in turn meant that many had to travel to remote areas in the far east, where treatment facilities were scarce.
This was especially the case in the areas of New Guinea, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, where many of the diseases were most prevalent.
Dr Knauss said there were also issues with the way colonisation was viewed, which made people afraid to ask for help.
“[There was] a lot stigma around medical treatment in the UK, and particularly in England, and also in Australia,” Dr Kanaus said.”[But] in colonial times people didn’t even have a choice to seek treatment.
You were either a British or an Australian.
People thought it was the duty of the coloniser to treat the colonizer.”
Mr Knaaus said the medical care system in colonial New Guinea was “a little bit worse” than the Australian system.
“The colonial system is a bit more complicated,” he said.
“It’s a bit harder to get treatment because it’s not as easy to access.”
We had a whole lot of people who could have gotten it.
“He also said the colonial system had its drawbacks, with health care providers being more dependent on foreign patients.”
You have the problem of [medical students] not having the knowledge to provide treatment, because it is not the same as being a British citizen,” he added.
As well as the colonial health system, the book focuses on the issues surrounding the colonisation of the colonies.
Colonial Australia is also known for its colonial past, as well as its medical system, Mr Kanauses said.
The authors also discuss issues surrounding colonisation in Australia, such as how it was viewed by the country at the turn of the 20th century.
But they also mention the colonial government’s efforts to create a more equitable system of healthcare.
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