In the U.S, there exist differences in the access of the quality health care especially among the minority groups and non-minorities that amounts to healthcare disparities. The root causes of these disparities are varied and as such resolving them, needs interventions of many stakeholders. Recent research efforts that focused on heart disease and its related health conditions reveal that the gaps between the health levels among the non-minorities and minorities is gradually increasing. These findings also observed that, racial and ethnic minorities in the United States continues to suffer more disease and its associated health condition of hypertension and disability, as well as untimely death than their counterparts.
Generally, the racial and ethnic minorities groups in the United States tend receive substandard health care regardless of their quality health access- associated factors like patient’s insurance status as well as their income level. According to the report by the Institute of Medicine, the major causes of these disparities are embedded in prejudice, discrimination, as well as stereotyping at the personal (health giver and patient), organizational and healthcare system levels.
In the United States’ health care delivery system, discrimination is particularly seen in the way the health care systems works, in other words, the policies and regulations that control its functions. Discrimination is also evident in other areas such as at the personal level in regards to patient-provider interactions. There is a general agreement that there are differences in the delivery of health care resulting from unfairness and bias as well as indecision in clinical communication and decision resolution. Some of specific instances of discrimination are seen in differences in areas such as when physicians are delivering medicals services, providing specific treatment to minorities only in cases where there is no proof of medical benefit to the patient as well as using minorities as testing tools for specific medical processes.
Putting into consideration the long-term impact of health care delivery disparities on the minority groups, it is now than ever before, that all stakeholders think of ways of addressing the problem. Institutions and individuals providing health care should come together and invest in new methods, carry out research and involve the affected groups in dealing with these disparities. In doing this, they should be guided by a common goal of facilitating best practices in health care delivery. Some of the ways that can be used to overcome these disparities include among others, increasing the number of minorities’ health professionals in the health care system, diversifying research in understanding medical conditions that affect minority groups as well as involving the community in dealing with the problems arising from these disparities.