It is obvious to contact bad because many of us are more about treating everyone equally than bearing inequality ourselves. We might not feel it, but we have many sorts of differences prevailing in our society that hold us back from claiming that we all are equal.
If we glance at history, it is also a witness to various disparities that humanity has to endure. From the slavery of black people to clinical experimentations during World Wars, there were inequalities in every form. Be it in the form of food supplies, health facilities, fundamental rights, or even justice, and we cannot say that they had equal treatment.
Societies are a mixture of privileged and less privileged people from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds. It is human nature to want the best for itself and leave the less privileged behind, just like Darwin said, “survival of the fittest.” Those who are earning well can have access to every facility, be it health, education, or anything else. It is just like the middle and top tier enjoying liberty, while the bottom one is in pressure. No society can be either rich or poor. It has both kinds of residents.
Where there are some negative aspects, there are positive traits too. Every society has welfare projects going on that can be run by its people. There are social workers also that look after the less privileged and facilitate them in every way. Over the years, there was confusion between social work vs. sociology, although they both fall under the same umbrella of social. Sociology is the study related to society while a social worker works for the betterment of society. Both entities focus on the improvement of society by highlighting the history, present motives, and projecting future endeavors.
What health disparities are there?
Health and shelter is a fundamental human right, yet it can fall scarce depend on who you are and from where you are. Many forms of disparities exist in a healthcare system besides all the efforts to make sure that there is none. They can be because of various social determinants such as race, ethnicity, sexual identity, age, and socioeconomic status. If we look for a proper meaning for the word health disparity, many think of it as a specific kind of health difference that can arise for social, economic, or environmental detriment.
In many countries, rural areas lack a proper healthcare facility, or they do not get access to treatment opportunities. The disparities arise mostly on racial or ethnic grounds. Various studies report that besides ACA or affordable care act, Hispanics are most likely to remain uninsured, and people living below the poverty times are four times more prone to not avail of any health coverage because of low finances.
Is not it feel bad that we are enjoying everything while some of our countrymen are living under the mark? Shall we not make interventions to reduce these disparities from our society? Here are a few suggestions that we can implement.
Education and early childhood
Education is the first right of every individual. Many health disparities exist because either the parents do not have the knowledge or the child could not get proper training. They are making efforts on a national level by starting projects to ensure structured childhood education and parental education. These efforts at the initial stages of their life can have a significant impact in the long run. Education parents show promise for compensating economic hindrances as they will pursue to have a better job.
Efforts like these have a potential outcome for both parents and children to produce ongoing health and socioeconomic benefits. Families or individuals that do not possess adequate education and awareness do not believe in getting g treatments. That also leads to inequality that they might not have any possibility of knowledge in a rural area or because of poverty.
- Housing and shelter
Have you seen homeless people in your surroundings? Do you think if they had houses to live, they would spend money on their health? Homeless people are more likely to get diseases and cannot even get treatment because they often rarely have paid for their medications. The state can start sheltering projects for homeless people or send addicted ones to the rehabilitations to sponsor their treatments.
Homeless people might be in the minority, but they do not have access to healthcare facilities. The community can gather resources to set up a primary care hospital with the help of NGOs to provide treatments to such people for free.
This way, necessary health facilities can be in reach of everyone who cannot afford to pay. Community projects can use volunteers or medical interns to provide their services at such hospitals.
- Making disease agnostic approaches
There are certain risk factors that we can quickly identify, making a disease agnostic approaches towards such factors can increase the reduction rate of social inequalities. These approaches include projects and policies that can endure a change in mechanisms and trajectories to control health inequalities. These disparities, existing, either way, leave a significant impact on the mental health of both parents and the child. We can run specific wellness programs to assist in the psychological well-being of such individuals. Studies suggest that interventions related to education and fiscal policies can have a positive impact on the health outcomes of minorities and reduce such disparities.
- Expansion in health coverage
The state itself has ACA (Affordable care act) to assist its people in health insurance plans and medical coverage. Health insurances are essential to determine if people are getting proper healthcare facilities or not. These insurance plans are for every citizen, but they have to get a registration for it along with an annual premium fee. Sadly, racial or ethnic minorities make up about one-third of the US population do not get a share of such facilities. These minorities get disproportionate representation in such programs, which then give rise to inequalities. We can expand the health coverage plans for minorities to reduce the burden and facilitate them.
Many employers provide health coverage to their employees, while some get enrollment in such plans if they can afford to pay the premium. Minorities do not get many job opportunities that can pay them well. Even if we say that they have a job, still they cannot avail of any health insurance plans as most of them get payments as daily wages.
We shall either open better job opportunities for such minorities or expand our health coverage plans.
The jobless to employed ratio is pretty much in the US. The reason for that is they have different eligibility criteria, qualifications, and many other factors. Employment can have both positive and negative impacts on health disparities. To seek treatment at the hospital, we all have to pay for our bills even if we have health insurance. It might feel wrong to read, but we cannot deny the fact that based on racial discrimination, job opportunities are not equal for everyone. People who are getting their salaries in the form of daily wages do not have enough money to afford a hospital visit.
These scenarios then lead to severe mental health problems. Improving the socioeconomic status for people with daily wages can have a better outcome in reducing healthcare disparities as it will give room to afford the facility. According to a study, improvement in the employment status even for people with severe mental illness has shown a reduction in psychological issues, betterment of health, and quality of life.
The word disparity or inequality can have various meanings, and it mostly refers to racial or ethnic context. Differences can exist in many other dimensions, such as sexual identity, race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. Disparities in the healthcare system exist for long. That means it limits not only the provision of healthcare facilities to the people but also a bar on the overall gain in the quality of population health.
They also contribute to the unnecessary costs that one has to fulfill. We might question why it is essential to address disparities? It is crucial as there is a constant rise in the population, and a study predicts that by the year 2050, the people of color will make up about 52% of the community.
From a broader perspective, health disparities are mostly in racial and ethnic realms. We can defend the argument by saying that the government has an affordable care act plan, but in reality, a majority of the population remains uninsured. Interventions are necessary to reduce the health inequalities from our society, as health is the fundamental right of every individual. As responsible citizens, we must assure the provision of equal healthcare facilities to everyone irrespective of race, ethnicity, and sex. There is also a need to cover the gap that persists across the population. Various analysis suggests that these health inequalities raise high costs in medical bills for about 93 billion dollars, which is way too high.