Portrait of African-American man and Caucasian women medical healthcare workers smiling in uniforms standing against white background.

Importance of African Americans in Healthcare

Chattanooga, TENN (mocsnews.com) — The American Health Care system is surrounded with inequalities that have an unreasonable impact on people of color and other diminished groups.

These inequalities contribute to gaps in health insurance coverage, uneven access to services, and poorer health outcomes among certain populations. African Americans bear the burden of these health care challenges.

African Americans experience illness and affliction at extremely high rates and have lower life expectancy than other racial and ethnic groups. They are also one of the most economically disadvantaged statistics in this country.

Milena Berhane, Inter-Asian Council, John Hopkins University

Milena Berhane, NCL Health Policy Associate, stated that there is a lack of diversity in the healthcare workforce and that is has been an ongoing issue in the United States.

African Americans have always received the bare minimum when it comes to adequate healthcare services. With this lack of service causes a moment of distrust between healthcare providers and African American patients.

The barriers to enter the workforce have further negative impact on communities and health equity. Black patients face a variety of issues that can influence their ability to access medical care, including medical mistrust caused by historical unethical medical mistreatment faced by Black Americans, dismissal of health concerns that Black patients express to health care providers, and others. Time and time again, Black patients have shared their experiences of medical providers ignoring their health concerns, and therefore being under treated and going undiagnosed for their conditions. In addition, research indicates that Black patients report poorer patient-provider communication and shared decision-making. These issues lead to Black patients receiving lower quality care from medical providers, further worsening health conditions that could be treated.

Milena Berhane

Most African Americans state that they have less access to what is considered good medical care where they reside. It is a major reason why African Americans in the United States have the worse health outcome amongst other adults.

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Although public health efforts are important in addressing and improving health equity, inequalities within the medical system must be addressed at the same time. By increasing the amount of African American health professionals across the United States is a critical step in ensuring better health outcomes for African American patients and their overall well-being.

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