There are many factors contributing to the disparities when it comes to equality in the healthcare system. This is because of a racist system caused by the subconscious of the health provider due to prejudice which inherently causes implicit bias when treating the patient. This issue is due to the deep-seated political, economic and social structure of our society especially for some minority groups. It is due to the structural racism that contributes to minorities experiencing social disparities through lack of quality in education, lack of healthy food accessibility, and lack of appropriate living wages and lack of access to health care.
Health disparities comes in many forms and a factor that contributes to it is politics. For example, while working at a medical office, a patient noted that due to recent political conversations and agenda regarding minorities especially Mexican/Hispanic (“go back to where you come from” or “build that wall”), she had a hard time finding medical care from physicians who portrayed a positive attitude towards her. However, when this patient moved to a heavily populated mixed-race community, the health care providers within that vicinity showed more positive and welcoming attitude towards her. Therefore, a factor that contributes to the disparities in healthcare along with politics is a location barrier, meaning, the location of the health care facility directly correlates to the experience the patient might receive (Cuevas et al., 2016). This example demonstrate that politics can influence people directly and indirectly in regard to health care disparities. Additionally, in terms of unconscious prejudice and discrimination in the health care field, an example would be a Muslim patients wearing a head scarf (hijab) and being treated differently because of the fear that was spread through the media politically (branded as terrorist) to the public, therefore, causing a unconscious generalized bias treatment.
These types of discriminations deter people from getting medical treatment, because of the fear of being treated wrongfully, therefore, causing deterioration of their health. The discrimination also causes medical distrust, which prevents patients from trusting the results or information given to them by the health care providers. Therefore, causing the patient to develop a generalized discrimination disorder for all doctors, creating poor communication between the patient and future providers. Furthermore, data demonstrates that those who are discriminated against are less likely to obtain other healthcare screening, such as mammograms, and blood test (diabetics test) (Cuevas et al., 2016).
Nevertheless, it is evident that political factors contribute to health care disparities, but economic & social factor plays a larger role as well. People who do not have access to health insurance are more likely to not partake in their regular screening such as cancer testing. Therefore, the likely chances of catching a cancer tumor at an early stage is low. Also, people within low income jobs cannot afford to take time off to see a doctor for their regular check-up or find a mode of transportation. Additionally, behavior wise, those within the low-income bracket tend to develop certain bad behavior like smoking and drinking, which contribute to cancer in the mouth, throat, lung, larynx, and kidney and etc., (Chokshi, 2018).
Furthermore, the social factor correlates to the economic factor, because lack of education means low level skills job, which equates to low-living wages. Therefore, low-living wages means the family cannot afford health insurance, and housing would be in low-income communities that are plagued with lack of access to healthy food. Therefore, unhealthy food equates to morbidities such as diabetes, cancer, and obesity. Therefore, economic, social and political factors contribute to high mortality and morbidity rates.
However, a way to solve or enhances the equality among all minority group in the health care system is to match the patients with its provider based on characteristics, which is supported by positive data and positive response from the patients (Cuevas et al., 2016). This method works for those with language barriers, therefore, getting a healthcare provider that can speak their language will improve communication and form a sense of trust between patient and provider. Also, organizations like the healthy people 2020 are fighting for equal health equity by working to eliminate disparities to improve the health of all groups (Hesse et al., 2014).
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Expert Solution Preview
As a medical professor, it is important to address the issue of disparities in the healthcare system and recognize the factors that contribute to it. The introduction provides insights into how a racist system, political factors, and economic and social factors play a role in creating inequality in healthcare.
One way to respond to the bold paragraph above is to offer and support an opinion. For example, you could state:
“I agree with the point made in the bold paragraph that political factors can contribute to disparities in healthcare. The example provided about the patient experiencing a difference in attitude from healthcare providers based on political conversations and agenda is a clear illustration of how politics can indirectly affect the quality of care received. It is important to address these biases and create an environment where all patients feel welcome and receive equal treatment regardless of their background or political climate.”
By sharing your agreement and supporting it with the example given, you are validating the idea presented and contributing to the discussion about the impact of politics on healthcare disparities.