“Health is a state of complete physical, mental, spiritual and social wellbeing, and not just the absence of disease” (WHO, 1974). Health inequalities are the differences in health or healthcare opportunities in different societies this may be due to income,
Although the United States is a leader in healthcare innovation and spends more money on health care than any other industrialized nation, not all people in the United State benefit equally from this progress as a health care disparity exists between racial and ethnic minorities and white Americans. Health care disparity is defined as “a particular type of health difference that is closely linked with social or economic disadvantage…adversely affecting groups of people who have systematically experienced greater social and/or economic obstacles to health and/or clean environment based on their racial or ethnic group; religion; socioeconomic status; gender; age; mental health; cognitive, sensory or physical disability; sexual orientation or gender identity; geographic location; or other characteristics historically linked to discrimination or exclusion” (National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities [NPAEHD], 2011, p. 3). Overwhelming evidence shows that racial and ethnic minorities receive inferior quality health care compared to white Americans, and multiple factors contribute to these disparities, including geography, lack of access to adequate health coverage, communication difficulties between patients and providers, cultural barriers, and lack of access to providers (American College of Physicians,
Health and social justice have continued to be a major problem that affects the way people live and chance of illness, and consequent risk of premature death. The recent report from the World Health Organization shows that health disparities have continued to persist within and among countries and different regions of the world. For example, infectious diseases and undernutrition are common in poor and developing countries (WHO, 2018). The gap is even much worse between the rural and urban dwellers because of the economic differences and availability of healthcare services. Although some of the developed nations have attempted
Health disparities are often described as the injustices in health care. The term reflects different clinical outcomes between segments of the population: why certain populations have a higher rate of certain diseases or more deaths contrasted with others. (CDC, 2015, p.3)
Social gradients in health occur all over the world. The social gradients are inequalities of disease, injuries, and health behavior across social economic groups (Kenney & Moore, 2013). Disparities are labelled as disproportions when these injustices are believed to be discriminating and preventable. They embody inessential human grief and lost efficacy; they also have substantial degrees for the economy and for social order and justice (Kirkpatrick, & McIntyre, 2009).
The Boston Public Health Commission (n.d.), states the terms, health disparities and health inequalities are interchangeable and refers to them as the differences in the presence of disease, health outcomes, or access to health care between population groups injustices, which contribute to certain populations susceptibility to substandard health care, in comparison to other populations. Similarly, Dilworth-Anderson, Pierre, and Hilliard (2012) define health disparities as “differences in treatment provided to members of different racial or ethnic groups that are not justified by the underlying health conditions or treatment preferences of patients” (p. 26), and are prevalent in many facets of health care in the United States, including eldercare.
Both the terms health inequality and equity are tied to each other. One of the significant similarity is that health inequalities serve as a metric (unit) to measure health equity (Braveman, 2014). For example, there should not have to be any differences between genders when accessing health care in a country without any cultural barriers and improper governance. Significantly, health inequality causes health equity and
Health inequalities in society are differences in the health status or in the distribution of health services between different population groups. Health inequalities are very common in our society, because it affects older people, who may have a reduced mobility compared to younger people. However not all health inequalities are forced on people some are a person choice. There are
Dr Ananya Mandal a NewsMedical.netauthor defines Health Disparities as “the inequalities that occur in the provision of health care and access to health care across different racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups.” This means Health disparities are essentially discrepancies in the servicing of Healthcare as well as in access to healthcare amongst people of different racial, cultural, and socioeconomic groups. Health Disparities has many underlying factors that impact it, a factor in particular is Health system barriers. Health system barriers are critical problems such as Access, Utilization, or Quality that serve to obstruct the passage towards proper Health. Health system barriers are one of the many factors that contribute to Health Disparities, health system barriers are composed of three major barriers; Access, Utilization, and Quality. These barriers all greatly impact Health Disparities and impact the path toward achieving quality health, with that in mind, the question of is one of these barriers more responsible for Health Disparities than the other? And the answer is yes, and the health system barrier that is most responsible for Health Disparities. Although many people believe that there is not one barrier that is more responsible for Health disparities, there is one barrier that is more responsible and that is on the account of the other barriers being the results of the one barrier.
Health equality are two different concepts that are closely related and widely misunderstood. Health inequality is differences in health status because of various factors. This factors can be gender, age, ethnicity, culture, employment, poverty, environment, etc. Health inequity in the other hand is lack social justice and fairness in the system which stops and individual or a group from enjoying their health potentials. Health inequity can be avoided by better governance, better system and better practices and creating fairness in the system (Global Health Europe, 2009). Equity in health is a matter of national importance because it ensures that every citizen get the amount of care and support they need.
Inequities in a range of factors – stable job, good income and affordable housing, access to a good, affordable health insurance and a quality education are all influence on a person chance to live their life longer and healthy. All of these inequities are hard to fulfill by a single poor human being, - they couldn’t afford to buy a healthy food and a place to be physically well-active, thus, it contribute the higher rates of AIDS & obesity in the minorities and poor community.
Over the most recent years there have been health advocates who have been paying serious attention to the health disparities and the association between health, wealth and inequality. In the United States (US), health inequalities can be viewed as a very important issue amongst it’s populations. There have also been ongoing debates, researches and documentaries highlighting such comparisons and links between these disparities. Many consumers of the healthcare system have experienced the inequalities with the provision of quality health care. After viewing the video series “Unnatural Causes: Is inequality making us sick?” which was produced by Larry Adelman (2008), brings more awareness on the divide which exist among the people who have wealth to those who have low socioeconomic status and are living in poverty.
Equity represents access to resources that are needed to enhance and maintain health and health outcomes. The World Health Organization believe reducing health equity is fundamental to reducing health inequalities, this can be achieved through law reform and social and economic relationship rebalance. Health inequalities are unjustifiable disparities in relation to health outcomes between individuals and groups. Inequalities in health are greatly influenced by a combination of social and economic circumstances (WHO, 2016)
This article describes nine principles that are fundamental to guide action to achieve health equity. The first principle focuses on action by the society to assist in eliminating obstacles to health and increasing opportunities for healthier choices. The focus of the action is on the disadvantaged group. It also involves the excluded groups in the process in identifying and addressing their own health equity goals. The second principle focuses on a higher level by looking at well-designed policy, systems and environment improvements that have the largest impact to reduce health inequities among the under-represented group. The third principle focuses on improving the living and working conditions and other resources that enable people to be as healthy as possible, measuring by assessing the determinants of health. The fourth principle focuses on improving everyone’s health with more focus on the those with greatest needs and least resources. This group requires more not equal resources. The fifth principle focuses on approaches for building and strengthening the existing resources of the disadvantaged group. The sixth principle focuses on using multi factorial approaches to address obstacles to health equity, instead on focusing on one factor at a time which is less successful. The seventh principle focuses not only on obvious discrimination
The causes of health inequalities are complex and multi-faceted. They are driven by social, economic and environmental conditions, or what are called the ‘social determinants’ of health.