Inequalities in Healthcare
Healthcare is a basic service that should not discriminate based on race, age, sex, or other self-identifying factors. Time and time again, gaps in the quality of the care by health providers towards ethnically or culturally diverse populations are found to be wanting. It is important to bring awareness to the issues within the healthcare system so that there is opportunity for improvement.
From the moment we come into the world, we are interacting with the environment around us. Consequences of our environment, whether positive or negative, have the ability to influence who someone is and who they will become. These negative effects cause our ailments and are labeled “Social Determinants.” These can be divided into six different subgroups such as “conditions of birth and early childhood”, education of elders, work of elders, social circumstances of elders, elements of community resilience, and fairness.
The “Subway Map” is a metaphor which is used to visually depict the expected life spans of residents from areas in large cities. The life expectancy in neighborhoods surrounding the subway lines follows a certain pattern that is a result of your residential area. The society and community determine the overall health and wellbeing of all of the members who reside there. Therefore, all communities deserve the effort for improvement of their conditions and lifestyle. In doing so, we can reduce illness and increase our quality of life.
Health inequality is a huge issue in our country today. Those who can afford it hold higher positions in politics and business while those who can’t, struggle to find affordable resources. They have a created system that is designed to discriminate against people of color. This is shown in the criminal justice system, health care, education and political representation. In the U.S black males are six times more likely to be arrested than white males. There is a 1 to 99% socioeconomic ratio, this system is designed to keep the rich richer and the poor poorer.
Health care is a basic human right, but quality health care is not always awarded to everyone. As the country continues to grow and become more culturally diverse, our healthcare providers must keep an open-mind and become more accommodating and adaptable towards the communities and people they serve. The more providers and communities believe that they are partners, the greater the odds that the general health status of our society will improve. Quality health care should be given to everyone regardless of their circumstances.
Berwick, D. M. (2020). The Moral Determinants of Health. JAMA, 324(3), 225–226. https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.2020.11129
Sandro Galea, M. (2020, July 21). The Deep Divisions Driving The COVID-19 Pandemic, Massive Unemployment, and Civil Unrest in the US. Retrieved from https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2767354?guestAccessKey=bf29c745-f4a0-44c6-b4f7-8c7068fc6afc