Health Care Disparity – Social&Family Issues Example

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"Health Care Disparity" is a wonderful example of a paper on social and family issues. The term “ health care disparities” can be defined as the differences in quality of health care, access to healthcare services, and health outcomes that exist across gender, ethnic and racial groups in our society. In the presence of healthcare disparities, every individual does not get equal access to or equal care from the health care service providers. Healthcare disparities exist in both the public and private sectors. Various kinds of socio-economic factors contribute to the existence of healthcare disparities like inadequate access to care to some groups of people, poor quality of care to some individuals, etc.

Community features and behaviors at the personal level also contribute to these disparities. It is generally found that people who belong to ethnic or racial minority groups, or individuals with mental or physical impairment or disabilities, or women may face health care disparities. Very often healthcare disparities exist between rural and urban areas. (Mead, 2008)    Part B) Explain why some women (in general) may face barriers to health care. Of course, over the decade's significant progress have been made in women’ s health.

However, still health status of women on average is not as good as that of men. Not only that, but healthcare disparities exist among women as well. Different sub-groups of women get different types of access to care and quality of care also varies across different subgroups of women. (Mead, 2008) There are a number of reasons for which some women face healthcare disparities compared to men and other groups of women as well. Economic status plays a crucial role in getting equal treatment for some women.

As a group, women’ s economic status is lower than that of men. Some sub-groups of women even live in much worse conditions as well. As a result, some women are far less capable than men and other women as well in paying for all the healthcare services they require. Actually, women are paid less than men due to the existence of gender disparities in the labor market. Moreover, some sub-groups of women who belong to some racial or ethnic minority are paid even lesser than other women.

Women very often have to depend on some public health insurance. For low-income subgroups of women, a shortage of providers willing to provide services in exchange for public insurance, a dearth of health care providers in rural areas, inability to access high-quality and fast modes of transportation contribute to the problem of getting equal access to care for some women.   (Reed, 2011) Healthcare disparities for women are further reinforced by the presence of significant disparities in the area of clinical research. Women are very often excluded from clinical trials.             (Reed, 2011) Part C) Explain the types of evidence used to show that ethnic disparities exist in health care for women As mentioned earlier, although as a group women face health care disparities compared to men, the level of disparities among women varies across different sub-groups.

For example, it is very often found that women who belong to ethnic minority groups face disparities much more than do other women. It has been found that for Hispanic women utilization and access to high-quality healthcare services have been consistent problems.

Many Hispanic women have poor economic and educational status. They do not have any kind of personal doctors or health care providers.   Since most of the Hispanic women are immigrants, they do not even get adequate insurance. All these have contributed to the healthcare disparities that they face. Not only Hispanic women, but Black and Asian-American women also face severe health care disparities in the US.   (Sassi et al. 2006; Williams and Collins, 2001)   


1. Mead, M. Cartwright-Smith, L., Jones, K., Ramos, C., Woods, K. and Siegel, B. (2008). Racial and Ethnic Disparities in U.S. Health Care: A Chartbook. The Commonwealth Fund.

2. Reed, A. (2011). Women's Healthcare Disparities and Discrimination. Available at (20th May, 2011).

3. Sassi, F., Luft, H.S. and Guadagnoli, E. (2006) “Reducing Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Female Breast Cancer: Screening Rates and Stage at Diagnosis,” Am J Public Health 96, no. 12.

4. Williams, D.R. and Collins, C. (2001). “Racial residential segregation: A fundamental cause of racial disparities in health,” Public Health Reports 116: 404–416.

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