Health Disparities: Racism

Health Disparities: Racism

First off, what is the definition of a disparity? 

A disparity is a type of health difference that is closely linked with social, economic, and/or environment.

With that, it is good to be aware that disparities in the health care system very much still exists especially in social aspects. Mary Bassett explained it well in her TEDMED talk “Why your doctor should care about social justice.” It is because as much as we try to avoid talking about it because it is an uncomfortable topic to discuss, race is still an issue in this day and age.

Using the socioecological model, it starts with a patient or a friend, an individual, that you may know that is discriminated for his or her skin color, then it leads to a community of that same race being neglected by an institution to be given the care that they need; it becomes interpersonal, which leads to the healthcare systems having the problem they have now, which is social injustice in their system, leading to an organizational involvement.

It is because we are bias people. We are biased towards our own race or to the race that we as a society have deemed as “good.” Statistically, Basset brought up plenty of examples of racial injustice in the healthcare such as, premature mortality being 50% higher for black men than white men; black women facing death related to childbirth more than ten times related than white women; how black babies face three times the risk of early death in its first year of life than a white baby, and that more than one out of every six black men die earlier than white men with living only about 25 years of their lives. There is an ongoing discrimination, and it must be stopped especially in the healthcare. It should not matter what the color of the person’s skin is. If they are in need of medical care, help them.

Intervention actually happens often with just a person who is willing to speak up for the injustice witnessed.  However, it is a long process. It is a fight against you and many others until you have found people who are willing to be courageous enough to fight the same battle that you are fighting. It is the only way to stop the ongoing levels of health disparities in the socio-ecological life that we live by. You just have to “Sound the Alarm!”

One thought on “Health Disparities: Racism

  1. I agree with all that you are saying here. I do agree that we are biased towards the race that we believe is “good”. All the statistics that you pulled from the video do prove that there is bias and discrimination within our health care system. Out of all places in the world, the health care system shouldn’t be the place were this exists. We shouldn’t be determining who should be treated better based on the color of their skin. We should be treating people as humans. A species that needs one another to survive rather than the way they look. The people have more power than they think. One voice needs to speak out peacefully.

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