What are Ethnic and Racial Health Care Disparities?
The disparity in health and healthcare refers to differences among specific population groups, in the attainment of full health potential that can be measured by differences in incidence, prevalence, mortality, the burden of disease and other adverse health conditions. The term disparity is used to describe the difference between racial or ethnic groups but also exists across other dimensions including gender, sexual orientation, age, disability status, social economic status, and geographic location.
Ethnic and Racial Healthcare Disparity in the United States
Ethnic and racial minorities in the United States have disproportionally higher rates of chronic disease, fewer options for treatment, and reduced access to care. They have higher rates of chronic disease, including cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, diabetes, cancer, psychiatric disorders, and musculoskeletal conditions. Disparities are also reflected in different levels of access to healthcare and the quality of medical care. Ethnic and racial minorities are disproportionately uninsured or underinsured and are less likely to receive care for health problems.
Healthcare disparities in the United States are long-standing and are an ongoing issue. Progress has been made in the United States in narrowing the gap in overall healthcare outcomes but the elimination of disparities has yet to be achieved.