Statistics of the CDC show that Hispanics and African-Americans are more vulnerable to HIV than Caucasian males. Similarly, African-American women are 40% more likely to die from breast cancer. Also, compared to urban settlements, rural Americans are susceptible to stroke, cancer, heart diseases, or unintentional injury. These different dimensions of health disparities ravage our healthcare system. Disparities exist when we observe considerable gaps in health outcomes among diverse populations. People shouldn’t face any obstacle to health due to their racial/ethnic identity. So, we’ll discuss possible methods to reduce these disparities to improve people’s access to healthcare facilities.
Understanding health disparities
Health disparities – as we’ve seen – are differences in healthcare between closely linked groups. On the contrary, we have health equity in which everyone gets the same opportunity to attain the healthcare they need. Public health experts seek to eliminate these inequalities by intervening and uplifting victims’ socioeconomic situation. Several challenges to eradicating disparities exist right now, preventing relevant institutes from addressing these problems. But many of these challenges are being gradually overcome.
These disparities lead to a group with a higher burden of diseases and injuries relative to other groups. But public health initiatives help reduce this extra weight from underprivileged groups. Therefore, more students now pursue degrees of MPH online no GRE to excel in this field. Accredited by CEPH, you can finish your education in two years and then start your career serving the public. Public health officials have devised many methods to combat health inequalities, seven of which we’ll discuss now.
The fight to remove health inequalities
The government has strived to eliminate health disparities via the Affordable Care Act. But the American minorities still suffer from the lack of access to healthcare facilities. For instance, Hispanics are 2.5 times less likely to be insured than Whites. These disparities, if not appropriately addressed, will endanger most of the country’s population. Since the United States will become a majority-minority country in 2050, people of color will be the dominant race. So, these strategies are helpful to eradicate disparities:
CDC started the Traditional Foods Program (2008-14) to restore people’s access to indigenous foods. It was revealed that American Indians and Alaskan Natives were twice more likely to get type 2 diabetes. Therefore, this program helps prevent diabetes by focusing on reclaiming local victuals.
In 1996, the Living Well with a Disability program came into being. It enables disabled people to use tools that allowed them to continue doing things they enjoyed. The pursuit of meaningful objectives in one’s life leads to a healthy lifestyle. This program uses goal-setting to help disabled people.
Increase minority physicians:-
The American Medical Association has made the complete elimination of racial/ethnic health disparities its foremost priority. Similar organizations are working to combat patients’ poor literacy rates by advocating to bring more minority physicians into the field. These doctors will help reflect the true nature of diversity in the American culture. Since advocacy isn’t enough, foundations must support minority physicians financially to increase their inclusivity in our national healthcare.
Research has also found that employment interventions assist people from low-income households and patients suffering from a mental disorder. Employment opportunities offer them a high-quality life, security, comfort, and social support. A study observed the effects on women receiving financial support from charity programs. These programs helped underprivileged women join the national workforce while enhancing preventive healthcare with improved mental illnesses.
Housing quality impacts the overall health of the family living in it. Unhygienic and poor air quality indoors may lead to the family members acquiring specific unfortunate maladies. That’s why several associations enable low-income residents to migrate to houses built in middle-income regions. These migrations have reduced crimes, violence, and drug abuse among the residents. This strategy also encourages more people to get jobs and become active members of our society.
Experts have proposed that early interventions positively affect both children and their parents. So, improving access to quality education contributes to the elimination of health disparities. Parental support programs strengthen the family system, improve financial situations, and enhance academic accomplishments. Certain families are destroyed by crime, abuse, and violence. By reducing these factors, it’s possible to remove the inequalities rampant in national healthcare. We have the famous Carolina Abecedarian Project as a brilliant example. The African-American children assigned to many control groups grew up having an active lifestyle with lesser depression or drug abuse cases.
Certain studies have hinted that healthy environments and community development lead to better healthcare facilities for minorities. These studies also suggest that urban planning offers conditions safe for healthy growth. Experts recommend that community-related and society-engaged endeavors reduce health disparities. Since urban planning encourages physical activity, the Project U-Turn in Michigan showed the benefits of active transport (walking/cycling) to school among kids. It showed a 63% increase in active transportation, thus ameliorating children’s well-being. Similarly, CDC addressed alcohol outlets in low-income societies to observe a reduction in crime and violence.
People are prone to scrutinize health disparities from a racial/ethnic perspective. We can determine from the examples mentioned above that these inequalities occur across many groups, including age, gender, language, disability status, and socioeconomic position. When we talk about reducing health disparities, we’re also concerned with saving kids, women, and low-income household members. And why do these discrepancies matter? Well, they reach around $93 billion in extra medical costs every year, according to CDC. Reducing these disparities contributes to less fear and stigmatization among communities. We can also provide more business for the region while improving the lifestyle of our low-income citizens.