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Discrimination in Health Care

Discrimination in Health Care
(Last Updated On: March 21, 2021)

Discrimination in Health Care

The world has come a long way in the past couple of centuries. We have invented smartphones and the internet, and now we are working on artificial intelligence. We have also created modern methods of treating illnesses. Patients don’t have to feel pain while undergoing surgery. We have new medicines that can cure a headache within minutes. But the thing that has not changed even in the 21st century is the way we treat those who look different from us. People have to face prejudice because of their skin color. Unfortunately, racism exists in every industry. There is discrimination in health care that can negatively affect the treatment of a patient. When health care professionals refuse to listen to patients because of their skin color, they end up not learning about the symptoms. This can endanger the lives of people.

Racism in American Hospitals:

In the US, black persons and people of color have to face racism on a daily basis. Unfortunately, American systems are racists in themselves, which is why it is not easy for Blacks to fight it. Racial disparities in health care result in black persons avoiding seeking medical help. The quality of care in the health care industry is much lower when it comes to Blacks, Hispanics, and Asians than it is for whites. Although ethnic disparities can be observed in almost every American industry, it is the worst in hospitals where black patients are not listened to by health care workers.

White Patients

White patients can discuss their problems with doctors and nurses without having to worry about whether they will be believed or not. There even exist racial bias in pain assessment. Black patients are not listened to about the intensity of their pain. Individuals are treated differently based on their ethnicity. Although this goes against the policy of every hospital, it is still very common in America. According to different studies, Black women are three to four times more likely to die while giving birth than white women. Read about our blog discrimination translated in 10 languages.

discrimination in health care
health discrimination

Quality Treatment

Due to lack of access to quality treatment, Blacks are more likely to suffer from chronic diseases. Even during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it is the Blacks, Hispanics, and Asians in America that have a higher mortality rate than white Americans. Racial inequalities in every industry mean that Blacks and Hispanics don’t get high-paying jobs with health insurance. Low-income communities don’t have health care coverage, which can further reduce their chances of getting treated when they are sick. But even having insurance does not guarantee black persons the care that they require. Every study conducted on the matter shows proof of racial discrimination in the health care industry. Read more about right to health.

Lack of Mental Treatment

The lack of mental health care means that Blacks and Hispanics not only suffer from physical illnesses but also psychological. Low-income communities require access to medical care more often as they often work in dangerous jobs. However, they only end up with experiences of discrimination everywhere they turn.

How are Racial Disparities in Hospitals Affecting different Populations?

In America, Blacks are more likely to suffer from heart attacks, kidney disease, cancer, and hypertension. When Blacks are not given access to health care facilities like white people, they end up reading articles online so they can self-medicate. Although white people also have to face problems if they don’t have insurance, they are not discriminated against by medical care staff.

One of the types of discrimination is faced by black women when they are not listened to after giving birth. This is why the mortality rate among black women is very high within the first week after giving birth. There is also evidence to show that white women with black partners experience mistreatment from medical care providers. A study showed that more than fifty percent of black women feel stress during pregnancy because of their experiences of discrimination. The stress can ultimately worsen their condition during childbirth.

Serena Williams

Famous tennis star Serena Williams shared her story recently of being mistreated by medical care experts. She forewarned the medical care experts about her pre-existing clotting condition, but she was not listened to. This goes to show that even having health insurance coverage cannot protect you from racism in America. High-income communities in America have to suffer just like low-income communities because of the color of their skin.

Stress by American Citizens

American citizens face a lot of stress because of the racial differences in industries. White patients do not have to worry about racial differences when they visit a hospital. But Black Americans have to suffer because of their ethnicity and skin color. There is enough evidence to prove that medical care is not being provided to all Americans in the same way. That knowledge alone is enough to affect Black populations.

The mistreatment can have long-lasting consequences for America. It will create a divide between the American population that will be impossible to cover. Some might say that the American nation has already been divided, and the latest movements are proof of that. But if racial disparities in the health care industry are addressed, it can heal America.

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patient discrimination in hospitals

Medical Care without Discrimination, Is It Possible?

A country must treat all of its citizens equally regardless of the color of their skin and their bank balance. But unfortunately, individuals have to suffer everywhere because of how they look and how much they earn. However, that does not mean that things cannot change. The government can make a new policy every six months to change things step by step. Every ethnic minority should be treated just like the majority. It is the only way a country can succeed.

Racial Discrimination

Racial discrimination within the American health care system is causing Black persons to suffer. The low quality of care means that the symptoms of a patient can get ignored, and their illness can get worse. However, it isn’t impossible to eradicate racial discrimination and make things easier for Blacks, Hispanics, and Asians living in America. It is true that change will not come overnight. People will not start treating each other differently all of a sudden. But by implementing effective policies, things can be improved for people of all ethnic groups.


Before things can be improved, however, we will have to acknowledge the existence of the issues that Black persons face in America. Doctors, nurses, and other staff in the medical industry will have to step forward and take responsibility. A problem cannot be solved if it is not acknowledged by those who created it. It is true that Blacks have to face discrimination in hospitals, but it does not mean that a hundred percent of doctors are racists. The system has been designed in a way that negatively impacts Blacks, Hispanics, and Asians.

Blacks and Hispanics

Another action that can set us on the path of improvement is letting Blacks and Hispanics talk about their experiences of discrimination in health care settings. Reports of discrimination should not be ignored if we want to address the issue. Medical care providers should always listen to minorities so they can get the treatment they require. It is important to teach health care providers to treat every black woman the same way they treat white women. Racial discrimination will not end overnight, but if both the government and health care providers work together, things can be changed.

Community Health Centers

There are community health centers that provide health services to low-income communities. They provide preventive care to people regardless of their ethnicity, but they lack funds to treat every marginalized community in America. This is why it is up to the government and policymakers to not only improve the conditions in state hospitals but to support health care organizations that provide preventive health services to the marginalized communities of society.

Change in Systems

Change in different systems is only possible if policymakers are willing to take action. Health policies should motivate doctors and nurses to treat everyone the same way. The income level of a person, their insurance, and their skin color should not matter. Black children should be treated the same way as children of white people are treated in America. Currently, everything from the tools to the literature in healthcare is designed in a way to facilitate white people. But non-discrimination in institutions is possible if Congress takes the right steps and leads everyone with examples. Read about our blog about language discrimination examples in 10 languages.


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