Why racial inequalities persist in health care

In Dr.Johnston’s hometown of St. Louis, as in other cities, there are fewer health care providers and specialists in low-income and minor...


In Dr.Johnston’s hometown of St. Louis, as in other cities, there are fewer health care providers and specialists in low-income and minority neighborhoods, which is due to structural racism and a legacy of residential segregation, said Dr Johnston.

“It’s not a question of insurance – it has more to do with the offer,” he added. “If you want to access a good specialist, your choice of cardiologists will be different if you live in the wealthier counties compared to if you live in the poor areas of northern St. Louis.”

Another study published in the journal compared health spending by race and ethnicity, finding that at $ 8,141 per year, expenses for white individuals are higher than Americans of other races and ethnicities, and the share of outpatient care is above average.

Health care costs for black people are $ 7,361 per year, and a smaller proportion of the funds are spent on outpatient care. The amounts paid for black emergency room and hospital care are 12% and 19%, respectively, higher than national averages.

“It’s about poverty, geography, where people live and the location of primary care clinics, and it’s about health insurance,” said Joseph Dieleman, professor. fellow at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington in Seattle and an author of the study.

But the difference also reflects the behavior of the patient. “It is also about people’s past experiences with the health system and the quality of care they or their loved ones have received, which leads to reluctance or resistance to accessing health care early.” said Dr Dieleman.

The results may explain some of the disparities in health outcomes, although social and economic factors also play a role, including poverty, so-called food deserts, and neighborhoods that expose residents to pollution and offer few opportunities for physical activity and recreation.

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