‘it is always the doctors patient’ This paper will be discussing the struggle of allied health practitioners to achieve professional status. This health issue can be discussed under many different sociological theories however Feminism in particular sociological/ Marxist feminism with touching on post modern feminism also, shows great understanding around the health issues and gives an understanding of the way of health and health care in Australia.
It explains how medical dominance in this field overrights the Allied health professional through subordination the allied health professionals being under direct authority of doctors in the hospital system in particular. Feminism also shows that in this field Allied health practioners are predominantly woman and medical professionals hold a patriarchy over allied health and the sexual division of the two. Finally closing point of how many womens health issues in past and present are again predominantly male.
Medical dominance, “the professional dominance of medicine due to doctors” (Fridson 1970). Allied health profressionals struggle to receive professional status in the health industry, due to the fact that doctors and medical professionals hold dominance and “power” over those knowledge based practioners in an area of a specific field. Medical dominance has a few areas in which it exerts control, subordination being a key area, it ensures some health care workers Eg Nurses, OT’s etc all to work under direct authority of doctors, especially in hospital system (Willis 2004).
Sociological feminism looks at the “ruling class” system, Medical professionals hold the hiearchy position or the upper class level with higher wealth, income funding and power, Allied health is placed in the lower class or the working class due to the fact that they are controlled or dominated by the upper class or the hiarchy or the industry, as they receive less funding and have little control over receiving their patients due to the fact that doctors write the referrals for the clients to access the allied health professionals.
Another issues amoungst allied health in the power struggle with medical dominance is the fact that most allied health positions are filled with females. Because of “the informal role of woman was to be the carer “ ( Germov 2009), a woman is seen to this begun woman gaining positions as nurses or midwives, as these are seen as caring roles or ‘womens’ jobs’ which then progessed to woman expanding into allied health positions as the access of education became greater to woman,