Health Care Disparity


The term health care disparity has been defined by many people in different ways, but all of the definitions given are still directed towards the same ideal that, health disparity refers to a group’s specific variation in the presence of disease, health results, the quality of health service received and most importantly their access to health care services. there are a lot of contributing factors to health care disparity, amongst which are the socio-economic wellbeing of the population, absence of quality access to health care, in the case where health care is available, the caregiving is poor, the genetic content of the population, general features in the community, and finally individual behaviors of the population. People who have financial challenges, those who have physical challenges, and dwelling in areas where health care services are inadequately provided, are the set of people that are victims of some of these factors that result in health care disparity. On the other hand, people living in the cities or urban areas are not exempted from experiencing health disparity. According to a statement made by Margaret Chan, Director-General of the world health organization,

“Health inequity is a matter of life and death.” African American infants are especially at risk for death in the first year of life, for example. They have mortality rates that range from 2 to more than 3 times that of white infants”. (American Public Health Association 2004).

The implication

Health care disparity is a clear display of the lack of efficiency that is in existence in our health care delivery organizations, and the unwarranted cost we pay for such inefficiencies. In a study carried out it was established that, if the health care disparity among the disadvantaged groups is removed, the cost of health care will drop drastically.


Health equity

Health equity refers to the study of the variations in the quality of health services received by different populations or groups of people. This variation might include, health outcomes and their access to quality health care services amongst other factors. Health care equity is a broader term than disparity but it encompasses disparity.

Ethnic and Racial Disparities

Great disparities exist in the quality of access to health care services provided in most countries of the world, in the use the disparity cuts across racial and ethnic minorities. Even though efforts have been made at erasing this disparity they are still in existence and constitute a major health challenge. This disparity extends to access to insurance coverage.

The disparity in Access to Health Care

Many reasons are responsible for the disparity to access to health care, but some of the most dominant ones are lack of insurance coverage, inadequate source of constant care, lack of financial resources to pay for quality services, existing legal and structural barriers, insufficient suppliers of health care services and lack of health knowledge (Marone, Litman and Robins 2008).

Erasing health care disparity

Most failures in the execution of policies and plans are system failures and not poor policies or the people. What it means is that the government should go back to the drawing board and identify the reasons why it is finding it difficult to effectively implement its policies on the elimination of health care disparities. A critical appraisal of the situation will help the government in coming up with a more strategic approach that will tackle the problem finally.


Health care disparities have been and will continue to be in existence, on less government alongside other health care practitioners go back to the drawing board and tackle the root cause of what is gradually becoming a menace. But until then we will continue to experience disparities in our health system.

Reference List

American Public Health Association (APHA). (2004). Eliminating Health Disparities. Toolkit.

Marone, J., Litman, J., Robins, L. (4th Ed). (2008). Health politics and policy. NY: Delmar Publishers.