NSW Medical Bulletin

Australia's Advance Medical Technology

Immigrant Health in Australia: Our Health System Improves Life Expectancy

Let us not beat around the bush, there are challenges for immigrants to Australia. It is far too simplistic to readily assume that our status, as a wealthy western nation, delivers better health and improved life expectancy for all Australians. Refugees and new Australians are not welcomed by everyone and the economic realities pervade all walks of life. Yes, wages are generally higher here than in many developing countries. Yes, our health system is much better than in poorer nations. However, our costs of living are concomitantly far higher than most other places around the globe. Rents and property prices are in the top echelon according to the survey Houselev. Immigrant health in Australia: Our health system improves life expectancy if they succeed in living and working here.

Cultural Customs Carry the Identity Imprint of Immigrants

Cultural identities and behaviours remain within many migrants who have come to Australia. Afterall, we are sponges for our early environments and human beings mostly want to fit in with those around them when they are young.  However, many people stick to their traditional foods, such as South Africans with biltong and other cured meats, Indians with their Madras curries, and the British with their unhealthy shepherd’s pie and fish ’n chips. Food is more than fuel for our bodies, it also carries our cultural customs. Immigrant health in Australia: Our health system improves life expectancy despite folks eating unhealthy tucker.

These Foods Are Promoted Globally to Expats Everywhere

These foods are promoted globally to expats everywhere. Such as the digital marketing promotion of unhealthy processed & packaged Irish foods. Even if the nutritional value of many of these foods are lacking it is the psychological impact of comfort foods with patriotic cache that keep the clicks and cash coming. What is the true taste of home in your own dietary lexicon? Are you a long time Aussie or a more recent arrival? The meat pie and sauce has long stood atop the menu board of our rough and ready meritocracy. Its simplicity, in terms of pastry, meaty gravy and bottle tomato sauce, speaks to a non-sophisticated palate.

Australians in big cities enjoy the culinary offerings of their multicultural residents. Asian and European restaurants and takeaways dot the boulevards and shopping centre food halls. Our new Australians are often at work within these family establishments. One hopes that the health of immigrants to Australia will continue to rise despite the effects of the pandemic.