Sample Communications Paper on Health Disparity among Minorities

Health disparity among minorities

            Health disparity is the dissimilarity in health status between certain groups of individuals. Although medical advances as well as the invention of new technologies have offered a new opportunity for people in America to live longer and healthier lives, there are significant cases of health disparity between members of various racial and ethnic groups. Health disparity is particularly linked to the social, economic as well as the environmental conditions within which one prevails (Collins, 2013). As such, the minority groups are the most affected among members of the wider American society, which is particularly due to the social conditions within which they live, work as well as learn. However, health disparity is also linked to rampant cases of racism and discrimination (CDC, 2011). This paper investigates how racism and discrimination harms a person’s health and wellbeing, which eventually contributes to health disparity among minorities.

How racism and discrimination harms and person’s health and wellbeing

While health disparity is prevalent in various minority groups in America, the African Americans are most affected with statistics indicating that various diseases are most common among members of this minority group. Statistical evidence compiled by Juleen (2009) shows a significant health disparity between the African American and white newborn babies. The African American babies are two and a half times more likely to die compared to the white newborn babies. Most factors attributing to these deaths are preventable but lack of proper prenatal care among the African Americans expose them to such challenges. African American adults experience a disproportionate health issues that attribute to death and disability cases. For instance, African Americans report the highest cases of blood pressure with most people developing this health implication at a younger age compared to members of other groups (Collins, 2013). Cancer is also common among the African Americans with both males and females suffering disproportionately as compared to members of other ethnic groups. Similarly, HIV/AIDS is a leading cause of death among members of this minority group as both men and women are eighteen times more likely to be diagnosed with the disease compared to members of other ethnic groups (CDC, 2011).

Various factors can best explain how racism as well as discrimination against members of the African American community can harm a person’s health and wellbeing. Racial discrimination in healthcare discrimination significantly affects a person’s health and wellbeing, which explains why African Americans suffer various health implications disproportionately compared to members of other ethnic groups. According to Darity (2013), African Americans are less likely to access healthcare insurance, which in return lowers quality of healthcare that a person within the population receives. This eventually affects a person’s health and wellbeing, which translates into high health disparity among members of the African American community compared to any other ethnic group.

Racism and discrimination when implementing human service facilities as well as the healthcare workforce further impacts a person’s health and wellbeing, which eventually contributes to increased health disparity among members of the African American Ethnic minority group. As explained by IOM (2012), there is a significant disparity in ethnic composition among the American healthcare workforce. For instance African Americans account for less than 6% of healthcare professionals serving in the US. This affects the manner in which healthcare is dispensed to members of this minority group, which can in return affect a person’s health and wellbeing.

Racism and discrimination as pertains to dispensation of correct scientific knowledge as well as innovation affects a person’s health and wellbeing, which in return attributes to increased health disparity among the African American minority group. According to Darity (2013), there is significant disparity in the dispensation of correct scientific knowledge, expertise and innovation pertaining to good health between the African American population and other ethnic groups. This in return affects the African American’s ability to take appropriate actions to improve their health and wellbeing, which in return intensifies health disparity between them and members of other ethnic groups (Juleen, 2009).

In order to address the issue of health disparity among members of the African American minority group, corrective measures should be taken to enhance equal access to human services, scientific knowledge and health insurance. The Affordable Care Act, as proposed by president Obama, should be put in place to promote health insurance coverage to over thirty million people. This act is not only linked to increased access to health care or insurance reform but it as well relates to significant disparity reduction. As such, the Affordable Care act will serve an important role in reducing health disparity among the African American minority group by enhance disease prevention and wellness as well as allowing individuals to take more control over their lives (IOM, 2012).

Health and Human Service Infrastructures should also be strengthened to enhance prioritization of challenges linked to health disparities. As commissioned by the Affordable Care Act, the Health and Human Service Department has founded offices linked to minority health in six agencies as well as established the National Center on Minority Health and Disparities (CDC, 2011). The main objective for these offices is to promote mission integration across various offices within the department as well as align key principles with goals and action plans presented in the department. As such, strengthening the HHS infrastructures will promote coordination in addressing health disparity among the minority group, which will eventually promote individuals’ health and wellbeing (Collins, 2013).

Conclusion

            Health disparity is a common issue that mainly affects the African American minority group in United States. Scholarly evidence indicates that the African Americans are most affected by cases of infant mortality, high blood pressure, cancer and HIV/AIDS. Racism and discrimination is mainly linked to these disparities and is most apparent as pertains to dispensation of scientific knowledge and innovation, human service facility implementation, dispensation of health insurance. Implementation of the Affordable Care Act s well as enhancement of Health and Human Service Infrastructure is critical in addressing the issue of health disparity, which will in return promote individuals’ health and wellbeing.

References

CDC. (2011). CDC Health Disparities and Inequalities Report-United States, MMWR, 60(2):1-114.

Collins, C. (2013). African American Women’s Life Issues Today: Vital Health and Social Matters, Westport, CT: Praeger.

Darity, W. (2013). Health and Medical Care of African-Americans, New York: Auburn House.

IOM. (2012). Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

Juleen, B. (2009). Treatment-seeking Disparity Between African Americans and Whites: Attitudes towards Treatment, Coping Resources, and Racism, Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development, 37(2):91-119.