Challenges to Cultural Competence in Health Care – Health System Example

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"Challenges to Cultural Competence in Health Care" is a perfect example of a paper on the health system. Cultural competence in healthcare is the provision of healthcare to patients with varying values, beliefs, and behaviors. The healthcare model in the cultural aspect is meant to meet the patient’ s social needs. The health providers should be enabled to engage and educate the patients about their health status. The wide health literacy gap, communication complications, and cultural differences are some of the challenges confronted when dealing with the patients. Cultural competence in healthcare comes with very many benefits for the organization.

The benefits take social, health, and business benefits dimensions (Betancourt et al. 2005). The benefits are, however, confronted with a myriad of challenges; key among them the poor understanding of the health care system in the cultural dimension. Understanding the culture and of the healthcare environment is key to the success of health provision. Poor understanding amongst the health providers is a hindrance to proper living conditions in society. The health providers need to be trained in a proper way to enable them to be able to adjust to the cultural understanding of the respective community. Training of the health practitioners is necessary so as to offer cultural understanding and sensitivity of the respective society.

The health practitioners should be able to address issues related to literacy, language barriers and need to respect the culture and practices of the said community. This helps in the ability to offer a better alternative and better health remedies. The health provision staff ought to be given. The staff should be taken through a series of training to enable them to adjust their services to be more culturally and linguistically proper.

Lack of proper offers a barrier to the provision of better healthcare to the cross-cultural dimensions. Recruitment of bilingual experts can assist with the impact of knowledge to the health providers dealing with the various cultural groups. They should be provided with a history of the service to the various ethnic groups. The recruitment of volunteers from churches and various organizations helps with enabling health provision. Families should also be advised to bring along their friends and to make as many visits as possible in a way to enable sharing of ideas and other relevant information relating to better cultural competence in health provision. The main challenges, barriers, and enablers for cultural competence in health careThe lack of diversity in the healthcare workforce is an impediment to the health service.

Proper health care should be able to take into account the varying cultural aspect of the related communities. Creativity is critical on the part of the health providers in handling the varying health condition. A clear approach should be accounted for when handling the different health cases in the healthcare system.

A creative systemization of health care is equally relevant when dealing with the various culturally competent health provisions. The designing of the health care system should take into account fully the various considerations of the society and the cultural implications. Communication is critical in the process of health provision. Poor communication between various health providers and their patients is challenging in the process of health provision. The varying cultural, ethnic, and racial backgrounds of various patients may be the reason for the language barrier that may occur in the health sectors.

It is critical that the health care providers learn the various languages that may enable them to work in various geographical regions globally. The issues, positives, and negatives, and challenges for cultural competence in health careA well-trained cultural healthcare specialist is important in many aspects. The health providers are able to provide a greater understanding of the critical role of the various cultures in health provision. This way, the health provision is accorded in a far better way so as to enable them to reach a wide converse of patients.

The understanding of the cultural competency also enables them o understand the various barriers that may lead to poor health provision for the staff and the residents as well; as the staff. Proper training also equips the staff with the ability to identify and know the characteristics of cultural competence in health provision (Betancourt, et al 2012). They will also be enabled to assess and respond to the various values and practices among the population and the older adults.

A well-trained staff will also be able to show commitment towards the cultural practices in the health care services so as to embark on the process of proper service provision. They also become role models for the other health practitioners, mentors as well as leaders in the health sectors. Culturally competent healthcare has numerous benefits, key among them taking the dimensions of social, health, and business benefits. Cultural diverse healthcare increases the mutual respect and clear understanding between the patients and the health organization in better and formal terms.

It also leads to increased trust between the patients and the health providers. The patients can freely open up to the health providers in full trust that they will not be victimized in the long run. With culturally competent healthcare, the community is more triggered to take part in the health issues (Fenza & Lehman, 2014). They are eager to learn and contribute to matters pertaining to health services. A more responsible family and patient attitude towards the health provision is also anchored in the health provision. The health benefits accruing from culturally-based health care also take many channels.

They may are directly related to patient benefits. Improved data collection on patients is a core benefit. The patients will be more cooperative with the health providers and will even give confidential information about their health status. There will also be reduced healthcare disparity between the patient populations since the health will be designed to reach a large number population without favoritism. The number of missed medical visits will also reduce by a very large volume. The costs of medical errors will equally be reduced by a large extent.

These costs can be in the form of legal compensations due to a medical error by health providers. Cultural competence in health care also comes with as many negatives as benefits. One of these is the cost incurred in the process of training the staff to learn the new culture. The training may take a longer period of time than the anticipated duration. The financial implication in the training process is also a wholesome amount that may not be fully available at the time of need.

The cost may go as far as the adjustment of the medical facilities to include the various needs of the different cultures in the field. The cost of learning the new languages is not easy either. The learning may take a longer time than may have been planned for. The learning process is also a challenge in light of the availability of teaching resources and educational facilities. The desire to have culturally competent healthcare may also lead to the effect of brain drain. The importation of well-trained health practitioners may lead to the eventual settlement of these health providers abroad, leading to the scarcity of them back home.

A well-trained health provider is necessary for the effective implementation of proper health care. These typical health providers are rare to find and as such may become limited in their own home countries from where they were detached. ConclusionCultural competence in healthcare is a combined body of knowledge, beliefs, and behavior pertaining to health provision. The varying cultures of different communities call for the differing approaches to the health issues that they are confronted with.

The approaches thus involve different elements such as personal identification, the spoken language, thoughts and customs, and beliefs. The information on health, therefore, has an impact on the condition of health provision, regarding beliefs involved in health and also a healing process. The concept of competent cultural health provision, therefore, has a very big positive impact on the healthcare provider. Enabling the health providers to understand the various health cases and improving their responsiveness is very critical (National Institute of Health, 2015).

Of main concern is the consideration put on the beliefs of the patients, their practices, cultural and the linguistic needs of the various patients. A competent cultural health care provision, therefore, helps in the reduction of the disparity between the standards of health provision. It leads to improved quality of health care services with cultural consideration forming the main basis of the health provision. The health providers become more responsive and understanding to the varying needs of the various patients. A competent health care framework is enabled by a group of governing bodies suited to fit in the various needs of the health care process.

Full information is hence very necessary for effective adjustment to the more competent health care provision.


Betancourt, J. R. et al. (2005). Cultural competence and health care disparities: key perspectives and trends. Health Affairs 24.2: 499-505.

Betancourt, J. R. et al. (2012). Cultural Competence in Health Care: Emerging Frameworks and Practical Approaches. Retrieved from

Fenza, P & Lehman, D. (2014). Diversity & Cultural Competency in Health Care Settings,’ A Mather Life Ways Orange Paper. Retrieved from

National Institute of Health. (2015). Cultural Competency - Clear Communication. Retrieved from

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