If you’ve been looking for tips on overcoming barriers to healthcare equity, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll cover some of the main issues causing many of the problems people face when trying to get quality care. This includes race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual identity and orientation, geographic region, and social determinants of health. We’ll also discuss strategies people can use to find the proper care for them.
Table of Contents
Race and Ethnicity
Racial and ethnic disparities in healthcare persist and have been a challenge to healthcare systems for decades. Health equity can only be achieved by addressing the underlying factors that lead to inequalities.
To combat these inequities, policymakers at all levels should adopt proactive interventions. One approach to achieving health equity is strengthening the primary care workforce and providing financial assistance to providers in underserved communities. Another is to require commercial insurers to incorporate health equity standards into their policies and programs.
Providing equitable care is the most crucial task facing healthcare systems today. Giving accurate data on race and ethnicity is a prerequisite for effective interventions to improve patient care.
The most recent data indicates that minority populations will become the majority in the United States within 30 years. Nevertheless, there are racial and ethnic inequities across state and federal health systems.
Social Determinants of Health
The social determinants of health are conditions that influence health, including poverty, employment, education, and the environment. They are also the factors that contribute to health inequities.
To address health inequities, it is essential to understand their causes. In particular, policymakers should pay attention to the role of social determinants of health.
A disproportionate share of health inequities can be attributed to factors that affect social determinants of health, such as discrimination, income, access to education, and health care. Health inequities can be avoided or minimized through effective action from all sectors. However, a comprehensive approach is needed to address these issues.
Increasingly, people and organizations are taking action to improve health. As a result, more federal agencies have become interested in the issue. For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a series of publications on the topic, and the Department of Health and Human Services has published its Social Determinants of Health.
Age is one of many factors used to determine access to medical care. Nevertheless, the age limitation may only sometimes be explicit in policy materials.
The US has several health inequalities. Minorities are more likely to suffer from poor health, cancer, heart disease, and asthma. Income inequality is on the rise. One of the most significant predictors of premature death is poverty.
A comprehensive approach to addressing social determinants of health requires understanding the medical and non-medical dimensions of the issue. This involves various activities, including cross-sector collaboration, data collection and analysis, and incorporating evidence from multiple sources into policies and practices.
Health equity scholars use the metaphor of a “stream of causation.” They argue that non-medical and medical aspects drive health factors. Consequently, they call for a comprehensive approach that includes a robust research agenda, institutional involvement, and health consideration in community planning.
The relationship between gender and healthcare is not always apparent. Studies indicate differences in health outcomes depending on a person’s gender. In addition, some studies have shown that gender affects the quality of care.
Gender inequities are a significant contributor to health disparities. They affect the ability of women and men to obtain adequate care. These inequities can also affect a health facility’s monitoring and evaluation systems.
Gender bias is a prevalent problem in the healthcare field. Researchers and providers must work to combat gender bias. Fortunately, several strategies can be used to address this issue.
First, organizations can work to improve awareness of gender bias in the workplace. This can reduce harassment and reduce the incidence of discriminatory behaviors. Secondly, health facilities and organizations must hold people accountable for gender-biased behavior.
Geographical location can be essential in determining health status, costs and access to health care. As such, geography is critical for designing and implementing healthcare systems.
The geographical location of a hospital or a specialty physician may be a factor in determining utilization and cost of service. However, a combination of social determinants, local economic conditions and distances to treatment centers can skew the results. For example, people of color tend to live far from treatment centers and thus face the disadvantage of long travel times.
A large and local scale combination can be used to redress the balance. A variety of local and national taxation schemes, for instance, can reduce the number of geographically dispersed facilities. This can be a powerful tool in reducing healthcare inequalities.
Sexual Identity and Orientation
As a result of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), there are protections against discrimination based on sexual identity and orientation (SOGI) in healthcare. However, health disparities remain prevalent among sexual and gender minority populations. The causes of these disparities are not fully understood.
Sexual and gender minorities have higher rates of certain diseases, cancers, and tobacco-related conditions. Furthermore, they are more likely to delay care because of cost, provider discrimination, or lack of access to providers. There is little information about why sexual minorities wait for care and why this occurs. A study conducted by Maragh-Bass and colleagues examined provider perceptions and the benefits of routine collection of SO/GI data.
Participants were recruited from an extensive university health system in the northeastern United States. The participants were spread across four departments. They were diverse across various factors, including education, income, and disability status.