Health disparity is a significant healthcare challenge that leads to unequal healthcare access and outcomes in various parts of the world, especially in the United States. The United States has been one of the best spots for understanding health disparities since it comprises different cultures, ethnicities, and languages, making it challenging to realize equal healthcare outcomes. Just like Dr. Martin Luther King Junior placed it that the country is suffering from racial injustices (Beech et al., 2021), the government has not won the fight against health injustices.
In most cases, the non-native communities in America suffer from a lack of insurance coverage and healthy nutrition since they are the minority groups. However, the United Nations World Health Organization(WHO) has developed various mechanisms through which such health disparities can be lowered so that the globe has a population of healthy people who can lead a quality life (Chang, 2019). Some of the significant causes of healthcare disparities in most parts of the country originate from intrinsic and extrinsic factors that fuel this healthcare vice since they are the social determinants of health. Therefore, this assignment presents one of the case studies from the documentary “Faces of Disparity,” which highlights the impacts of health disparities on the health outcome of patients in the United States and the various measures that have been recommended by experts in a bid to curb such health disparities from reoccurring.
Hanin is a young, black American lady from New Haven who has just completed her schooling yet is still looking for work. She is also suffering from a learning disability that makes learning so difficult. Hanin has minimal encounters with the healthcare system since she lacks any treatment history. The main reason for Hanin’s lack of patient history from the case study seems to be her inability to access health insurance due to her poor economic status. Despite not receiving any healthcare, Hanin believes that the failure to present her healthcare insurance is the main reason for not addressing her teeth condition. In addition, Hanin is also concerned about her health challenges, and this requires support, especially from the family, to offer immediate assistance to get healthcare awareness since she is suffering from learning disabilities.
In this case, without the assistance of close family members, even if healthcare services are provided, she will still not respond positively due to her learning disability (Beech et al., 2021). As a result, the healthcare organization should first address the disability by offering class standard healthcare, including responding to her disability status to providing evidence-based strategies that will encourage learning that is very significant in addressing cognitive challenges by the patient (Beech et al., 2021). With this in place, the healthcare practitioner will evade the instances of practitioner bias that, at some point, may derail the provision of equal healthcare services. Learning development strategies will also ensure that the patient does not mistrust the medical advice and will have a positive outcome and patient satisfaction. Achieving the patient’s trust in this case thus will require the healthcare organization to apply class 12 standards that allow collaboration with the communities that will enable healthcare assistance to Hanin and support her to access healthcare.
Temara is a middle-aged Black American woman from Manchester suffering from sickle cell anemia. The sickle cell anemia has made her feel much pain, but due to stereotypes from the healthcare practitioners, she has not been able to get medical assistance. According to the case study, the patient encounter shows that Tamara did not have a positive meeting. The patient drove herself into the emergency room, and notwithstanding, the medical practitioners still did not want to empathize with Tamara’s situation. Even after seeing the sickling Tamara driving herself into the room, the doctors said sarcastically, “If you can rock the music then you are not in pain.” Tamara also felt disrespected based on her economic status.
The stereotypic nature of the doctors made Tamara believe that her state of opulence made the doctors judge her by insisting that she was not suffering from any pain. Stereotypes are some of the ill motives by medical practitioners to limit the delivery of quality healthcare to the general population. In this case, the doctors believed that well-off individuals should not suffer from diseases; thus, they are always neglected (Marcelin et al., 2019). It is also this opulence that Tamara felt disappointed with the hospital since they did not believe she was hurting since she drove herself into the healthcare facility without any assistance. According to the case study, Tamar would feel much more reluctant next time to receive healthcare services since she will be judged based on her economic status.
The World Health Organization highlighted that cultural differences that may be defined by the economic and social status of the individuals in the community are much more dangerous than ethnicity on matters of equal Healthcare access and outcomes (Marcelin et al., 2019). Lack of healthcare satisfaction from the side of the patient would mean that the patient may not take seriously the medical advice given by the doctor. The patient would even think the doctor had ill intentions since receiving outpatient; everything was full of prejudice. In this case, therefore, the class standards in this scenario should involve the class 1 standards whereby the hospital should ensure that the patient receives practical and understandable healthcare that respects the cultural status of any person irrespective of their level in the societal strata.
The third is about Dave, a male Indian who is around the age of 65 years and currently living in Simsbury. Dave was diagnosed with Diabetes, and his legs and feet were paining due to the impact of the disease. Having lived in the city for about 30 years, she has made good friends and even had his own family there. However, one day after falling ill, she could not take in the food prescribed by the doctors since the foods lacked Indian dishes; thus, he could not eat. Dave believed the doctors were culturally biased and did not have the cultural competence to respond to his needs as an Indian patient. Instead, the doctor generalized and assumed that Dave must have adapted to his current cultural environment.
From the case study, it is also evident that Dave did not appreciate the medical advice given by the doctors since they were so biased and majorly favored the American citizens. Therefore, in my opinion, I believe that Dave could, in the future, look for a doctor who understands cultural competence and will be able to prescribe food that has Indian origin. Cultural prejudice has led to a lack of evidence-based treatment methods by doctors in various healthcare institutions (Forde et al., 2019). In this case, the practitioner bias is much more similar to the existing findings carried out by the WHO to achieve a healthy population.
Besides, the hospital ought to have devised some strategies to mitigate these challenges to cultural competence. For instance, the hospital should, in the future, come up with educative campaigns that are aimed at creating cultural awareness for their doctors to learn new cultural practices and divergent practices to ensure that every patient has been treated based on their needs and conditions (Marcelin et al., 2019). Inappropriate treatment strategies that do not align with the patient’s needs make the patient have poor treatment outcomes and a lack of patient satisfaction. Thus, the class standard is fundamental to solving Dave’s problem of getting treatment. (Forde et al., 2019) For instance, class standard 3 enables medical practitioners to receive appropriate linguistic and cultural education to understand the essential cultural aspects of diverse patients based on their country of origin.
In conclusion, healthcare organizations are at the heart of ensuring that patients receive adequate, equal, and respectful healthcare services that are void of prejudice. The three cases presented here are perfect examples of how the healthcare instructions create a lot of healthcare disparity, thus limiting the WHO from achieving its mission of healthy people since a healthy community generates a healthy nation, and so is a healthy globe. Some of the significant causes of health disparity, as seen from the three scenarios, include; race, stereotype, and lack of access to healthcare due to poverty. Among these factors, poverty pauses the highest cause of healthcare disparity in any natural population. For instance, deprivation will lead to other salient facto, including lack of educational access and healthcare insurance to access healthcare services.
Beech, B. M., Ford, C., Thorpe, R. J., Bruce, M. A., & Norris, K. C. (2021). Poverty, racism, and the Public Health Crisis in America. Frontiers in Public Health, p. 9. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2021.699049
Chang, C. D. (2019). Social determinants of health and health disparities among immigrants and their children. Current Problems in Pediatric and Adolescent Health Care, 49(1), 23–30. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cppeds.2018.11.009
Forde, A. T., Crookes, D. M., Suglia, S. F., & Demmer, R. T. (2019). The weathering hypothesis as an explanation for racial disparities in Health: A Systematic Review. Annals of Epidemiology, p. 33. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.annepidem.2019.02.011
Marcelin, J. R., Siraj, D. S., Victor, R., Kotadia, S., & Maldonado, Y. A. (2019). The impact of unconscious bias in healthcare: How to recognize and mitigate it. The Journal of Infectious Diseases, 220(Supplement_2). https://doi.org/10.1093/infdis/jiz214