Health is the most important thing for an individual. In most developed countries, health care is provided to the entire country’s population, irrespective of their status, race, and ethnicity. Whereby, one of the most developed countries of the world, the United States, has a different perspective on the health care services that are made available to the general public. Most of the health care facilities that are available in the US are generally owned by the private sector, which generally runs after the profits.
Identify and Discuss an Injustice or Disparity Occurring During This Pandemic
There are a number of communities living in the United States which increase the risk of injustices and disparity to occur in the country. COVID-19 does not have a similar level of impact on every community or everybody living in the US. There are various racial and ethnic disparities that have been highlighted due to the COVID-19 pandemic to have proper access to behavioral health care. The facts state that the other health care services such as diabetics, cancer treatments, or emergency treatments for cardiovascular patients have been affected largely too because the main focus of most of the doctors has shifted towards the treatment of the COVID patients. Coronavirus was more serious for people who were older as the immune system of one’s body starts to get weak after a specific age, and the other people who were at high risk included the diabetic or heart patients. Though these conditions are likely to occur in both the rich and the poor, the poor or the minorities in America had to face more trouble as they lacked education, awareness, and access to health care services.
Historical Background of This Problem
The problems faced by the people in the US due do their race, ethnicity, and background have been at its peak. Since these people are in a minority that can comprise race, ethnicity, gender, these people face trouble in getting proper health care facilities in the US for years. From a racial and cultural context, such disparities have produced social identity and self-awareness, stereotyping, conflict, and, in some instances, assimilation and incorporation. Back in the 19th century, black people were seen as racially different, and the concept of discrimination came into being. After that, in the 20th century, there was an increase in racism in the medical sector by not informing the black minority groups about some experiments and kept them away from the knowledge regarding healthcare. If we relate this to the current pandemic situation, people who belong to Black or Latino background and they are twice as more likely to get affected by the Coronavirus. In addition to this, while admitting people in hospitals, white people are given priority over these groups, which shows how much injustice these people have to face in their lives in the US. The major problem faced by the people living in the US is that the country does not have any health care systems and only has insurance that they provide to its people. Since these insurances cannot be afforded by every individual, the minority groups tend to be suffering most of the problems.
Which Communities are Most Affected?
The Coronavirus or COVID’19 pandemic has uncovered various deep-seated disparities in health care for the minority groups, which include the black communities and enhances socio-economic factors that lead to poor health issues. According to the reports presented by the media, it is quite evitable that the pandemic had a very adverse effect on the groups of color, which has led to long-standing ethnic inequalities. It was seen that the cases caused by the Coronavirus were increasing rapidly in which the black population suffered around 30% of the total cases, whereby they only comprise 13% of the total population in the US. Black and Latinos faced a lot of problems during this pandemic and suffered more as compared to the White. Black and Latinos were usually uninsured lacked any facilities that should have been made available to them. The patients suffering did not have the facilities or the resources available for COVID’19 tests and treatments. The Black and the Latinos mostly worked in the service sector organizations such as restaurants and hotels, and due to the pandemic, they lost their jobs as the lockdown was imposed by the government to ensure the safety of the local population. Hence, these minority groups faced the loss of income, and their basic necessities were hampered. These people live in public housing, which means big families living in a very small house, and this makes it very difficult for them to isolate if they get symptoms for the virus and hence increases the overall spread of the disease. Also, they tend to work on lower posts, which makes it impossible to allow them to work from home. Moreover, they also do not own any private transportation because they cannot afford it and hence increases the risk of their exposure to the Coronavirus.
Discuss Whether You Believe This Problem is Systemic or not Support Your Response
All the doctors, upon getting their degree take an oath to serve the people in need with the help of their expertise and knowledge, but still, there are certain doctors who are biased, which can be termed as racism. Since the minority groups lack power, knowledge, and money, they are often ignored and are not given proper treatments that are required by a patient. If we look at the broader perspective, the health care sector should actually not be termed as a system; instead, it is a decentralized system of a group of people that make decisions and run their corporation according to their priorities in order to favor themselves only. The sector is now shifting its focus and overall goal, which should be to facilitate the people in need of self-beneficial purposes. The lack of frameworks, or poorly constructed structures, and the resulting lack of coordination are not only evident across industries but also among individual health care organizations. Such systems can damage or fail to deliver what patients require. According to a report generated by the IOM which clearly states that since the knowledge about human factors are inefficiently applied, and proper safety principles are not incorporated in the system due to which the number of medical errors arising is increasing day by day.
Were There Any Laws or Legislation to Correct and Rectify the Problem?
In order to fight the injustices and racism that is faced by the people, it is essential for everyone to recognize the issue and have a proper understanding of these actions. To improve the overall situation, it is very important to spread awareness about the health care system why and how it is necessary among the illiterate people who have no knowledge on this topic. Providing education to people should also be given topmost priority in order to minimize the problem that takes place with the minority groups in that region.
State the Laws and or Legislation Passed, if Any?
- Article 12 was imposed, which gave the right to every individual to enjoy the health care facilities. These health care facilities included access to clean, hygienic water, food, and housing, which will be available for everyone without any discrimination or biases.
- Article 25 was also implemented under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), which stated health is a basic need that should be provided to everyone.
- In 2010, the president of the US, Barrack Obama, imposed an act known as the “Affordable Care Act,” which gave the assurance that health care would improve, and the insurance would also be cost-effective, which everybody will be able to afford.
Were They Successful?
Mostly the human rights that are violated in the health care sector because of unethical people who have joined the medical industry and have become doctors or because the government has forced them to ill-treat their patients whereby it occurs because doctors who have previously been in medicine have accepted the racism or biases that take place in the country and fail to do the daily practices adhering to the norms. The policies implemented were not as successful as they were expected to be, and this was because the US denied to actually accept health care as a basic human right. The country kept on ignoring one of the major rights of humans and even violated the policy set by the UDHR. They continued to keep the minority groups or the poor people who lacked resources away from the health care facilities. This whole thing was then termed as a ‘non-system’ of health care. In the context of UDHR, health should be available to everyone and not only to those who can pay or have citizenship. Unfortunately, the United States does consider health as a luxury that can be enjoyed by the person who can afford it. Lastly, the affordable care act, which was implemented, which was successful to an extent, and there was a slight improvement in the overall health care system of the US.
Discuss the Success or Lack of and Provide references to Support Your Work
The affordable care act implemented in the US plays a significant role in the improvement of the overall system. This act was passed in order to solve the major problem that people faced regarding the healthcare facilities. This act made sure that the facilities provided to the general public are highly affordable, accessible, and also no comprise made on the quality. This act has resulted in a positive change in the society and accessibility of health care to every group of the country. Though there have been a lot of improvements, there are still other major opportunities to improve health care in the US that are being ignored and not worked upon. After the success of the affordable care act, the government should try to implement more such laws for the betterment of the structure, benefitting the whole population of the country without any group facing injustice.
- (n.d.). Retrieved from COVID-19 and Behavioral Health Disparities for Black and Latino: https://www.samhsa.gov/sites/default/files/covid19-behavioral-health-disparities-black-latino-communities.pdf
- (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)30893-X/fulltext
- (n.d.). Retrieved from Health Care As a Human Right: https://www.americanbar.org/groups/crsj/publications/human_rights_magazine_home/the-state-of-healthcare-in-the-united-states/health-care-as-a-human-right/
- (n.d.). Retrieved from Healthcare policy in the United States: https://ballotpedia.org/Healthcare_policy_in_the_United_States
- (n.d.). Retrieved from The Moral Problem of Health Disparities: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2837423/
- tello, M. (n.d.). Retrieved from Racism and discrimination in health care: Providers and patients: https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/racism-discrimination-health-care-providers-patients-2017011611015