Despite the significant wins achieved for civil rights, race still plays a major role in determining whether or not an individual receives adequate high-quality care. It is crucial to find a permanent solution for the ethnic disparity immediately because every 1 in three Americans self-identify as either American Indian/Alaska Native, African American, Asian, Hispanic/Latino, Native Pacific Islander, or multiracial (Brey et al., 2020). These numbers are estimated to rise to 1 in every 2 by 2050, making these healthcare disparities a major concern (Brey et al., 2020). The following is a plan a public health leader can take to stop the menace.
Create Public and Provider Awareness
Lack of understanding of the extent of the ethnic disparity in public health disparages the need for better policies and resource allocation in the field. Starting at the community level would be important to ensure everyone is aware of and understands the repercussions of discrimination. Therefore, hosting occasional Q&A events while applying an open-door policy is a great way to start. They should be led by experts and health professionals invited in addition to other residents. It is also important to attend community events and set up local advertisements providing relevant information.
Expanding Health Cover
Lacking health coverage reduces the chances of going for routine and timely care People from minority ethnic groups are more likely to be uninsured than whites, even in employment. It is, therefore, essential to advocate for more resources to be allocated to the existing sources of coverage such as Medicaid. It ensures they are well maintained while coming up with new and better sources of coverage for the uninsured.
Increase the Number of Providers in Underserviced Communities
Minority ethnic groups are disproportionately underrepresented in the healthcare workforce. They are also more likely, at 28% Latinos & 22% Backs, to live in places where they have little or no choice on where to seek care, compared to whites at only 15% (Churchwell et al., 2020). It is important to increase the number of healthcare professionals from minority ethnic groups because they are also more likely to practice in medically underserved areas. Diversifying the workforce increases the chances of improving access and adherence to treatment.
Brey, C., McFarland, J., & Branstetter, C. (2020). Status and trends in the education of racial and ethnic groups 2018. NCES. Web.
Churchwell, K., Elkind, M., Benjamin, R., Carson, A., Chang, E., & Lawrence, W., Mills, A., Odom, T., Rodriguez, C., Rodriguez,F., Sanchez,E., Sharrief, A., Sims, M., Williams, O., (2020). Call to action: Structural racism as a fundamental driver of health disparities: A presidential advisory from the American Heart Association. Circulation, 142(24). Web.