Racial issues in health care in america
Racial Issues in Health Care in America
The health care situation in America has been and will remain one of the prime concerns of this country. Movies like Micheal Moore's Sicko, instigate the citizens and the media and pose more and more questions to the Presidential Candidates on how to tackle those tribulations. The most prominent health care issues in America are racial and ethnic. Marting Luther King said “Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health is the most shocking and most inhuman.” (Byrd and Clayton,2000) There are countless stories with evidences that there are too many African-Americans who are excessively poor, unemployed without insurance that have been ignored and refused services by medical agencies. “In parts of Cuyahoga County, namely Clevelands poorest neighborhoods, African American babies are dying at rates that would embarrass come third world countries.” (Davis and Marchak 2000) Mortality rates nowadays are the same as they were years ago with for Caucasians taking preventable and treatable diseases into consideration. African Americans die at a more superior rate in every state in the America where there is a great minority population. “Appropriately, racial disparity has been one of the most studied problems in health care in recent years. Since the 90's, medical researchers have publishes atleast 280 studies, involving millions of patients, exploring many aspects of the gap, according to search of the National Library of Medicines archives.” (Davis and Marchak 2000)
Millions and millions of federal tax money has been put into agendas to endorse assistance to minorities and to the deprived to lessen inequalities. These agendas however affect only a minute part of the population that need those services. An analysis conducted by the Institute of Medicine (a research institute), found out that minorities are not always given the best medication and services for heart diseases, heart surgeries, dialysis, and organ transplants as opposed to Caucasians.(Stolberg 2000) Besides the above, there are six other areas of concern that include racial and ethnic minorities experiencing serious discrepancies in access to health care. They are infant death, cancer treatments, cardio vascular care, diabetes, Aids, and other vaccines and immunizations. “In 2000, the African American infant mortality rate was 2.5 as compared to 2.4 in 1998.” (Office of minority Health 2007) Cardiovascular dieases and strokes is the primary cause of death for minorities in America. “In 2000, mortality rates from Cardiovascular disease went up by 29% among African American's as compared to Caucasians and mortality rates from Stroke went up by 40%.” (Office of Minority Health 2007) Also, even though African Americans and Hispanics represented only 26% of the American population, 66% of Aids cases and 82% of pediatric Aids cases were from these minorities.
There are numerous more disorders and illnesses that affect minorities inconsistently. Some are mental illnesses, hepatitis, drug abuse, TB and syphilis. “Free Clinic of Greater Cleveland, Ohio best known for their contraceptives and the treatement of sexually transmitted diseases has evolved. It is not as busy as places treating illnesses like diabetes. The clinic is so busy that they have to send patients to MetroHealth medical center, one of the public hospitals in the city. “Metros mission is to offer outstanding care regardless of the ability to pay, how ever the hospital spent $92 million in a charity care last year, a 50% increase from 1997.” (Spector 2000)
There are several organized factors linked to the manner healthcare is distributed and financed in USA. “Increasing efforts by states to enroll Medicaid patients in managed health care systems distrupts traditional community based care and displaces providers who are familiar with language, culture and values of ethnic minorities.” (Smedley and Nelson 2003) An issue like this is less prominent. But then again, the deficiency of health insurance among minorities has become a familiar fact to everyone. America is the only developed country that does not provide health care as a privilege of nationality and residency. There is great reliability on health care aided by employers and companies. “One third of African Americans are engaging in low paying jobs as compared to less than 20% of Caucasians who have similar income that do not provide health care.” (Sered and Fernandopulle 2005)
Largely, the method of technique of handling and acknowledging this issue is to make sure that there are enough health care providers to cater to the needs of minorities and ethnic backgrounds. It is also necessary that there be an interpreter for the non English speaking population. Priority is given to the health care distribution and finance instead of the issues stated above. The most shocking exposure is that despite of taking into consideration the adjustments for socioeconomic differences like health care access, and health insurance access, a major inequality remains to exist. Discrimination, biased attitudes, and labels are issues that create more and more inequality and differences. In some cases, a health care contributor has to be dependent on stereotypes to attain additional information for diagnosis and medications. This can be helpful but at the same time create derogatory results particularly when health care providers have to make major and important decisions in limited amounts of time and under a lot of pressure.
Sometimes, the patient also contributes to the inequalities and indifferences. Pessimistic reactions to health care and treatments experience also call for disparities. A program called Take a loved one to the doctor was implemented into society to support African Americans and to promote health care services to them. this was also done because African Americans were not taking advantage of the fact that they too could get insurance and have access to health care. As a result, several diseases and illnesses are more common among the black population. The only time they see a real doctor is in situations of emergencies at hospitals. Research also shows that another reason African Americans do not bother to get access to health care is because of low social status which sets forth a feeling of deprivation and unaffordability.
There are thousands and thousands of factors that contribute to the existing disparity and inequality in health care access among different races and ethnic backgrounds in America. This is an issue that remains to be of prime concern. Certain measures have been taken to eliminate these difference but one can only wait and see how far they will go and how effective they will be.