Posted: March 23rd, 2023
Many communities in the United States and around the world face the increasing issue of health inequality. They are disproportionately affected by various health conditions, and lack access to adequate health care to overcome such challenges. Among the most affected groups in the United States, including African Americans who remain unequally affected by health challenges, including inadequate access to mental and health care services. They are also ineffectively covered by health prevention and promotion activities. Although various factors affect access to health in the county, many barriers to healthcare, including individual and neighborhood socioeconomic disadvantage, resource limitations, and lack of adequate education on disease prevention and health promotion, have significant implications to African Americans.
Individual and neighborhood socioeconomic aspects are factors that have negatively affected the ability of African Americans to access adequate health care services. People require finances to access care whenever they are unwell and also to undertake preventive measures (Andermann & CLEAR Collaboration, 2016). However, where such ability lacks, they fail to access medical intervention whenever they are unwell. As a result, they seek attention when the diseases have significantly progressed and challenging to treat.
African Americans also face a systematic barrier to healthcare access, which is resource limitations within their communities. Previous studies reveal that a majority of African Americans live in impoverished neighborhoods and in inner cities that lack adequate resources, including healthcare facilities (Betancourt, Green, Carrillo, & Owusu Ananeh-Firempong, 2016). As a result, they are most likely to suffer unequal access to health care for their treatment, prevention, and promotion efforts.
Lack of adequate education is another barrier to effective healthcare access. People with low levels of education may lack the knowledge to understand the need for health promotion and disease prevention (Betancourt et al., 2016). They are also most likely to use alternative sources of care, such as traditional medicine and spiritual interventions, most of which fail to provide optimal health care. Consequently, they remain unequally represented in healthcare, and the majority suffer from chronic and acute conditions such as diabetes and different types of cancers due to suboptimal health care.
A variety of health organizations support access to health care among the minority communities in the United States, including African Americans. The National Medical Association (NMA) is one of the organizations that support equality by promoting healthcare knowledge and resources among the impoverished communities in the country (Nongovernmental Organizations, 2019). The organization works for the collective interests of patients and physicians of African descent. It is a significant force in promoting equality in medicine and healthcare, reducing health disparities through research and funding, and promoting optimal health.
Another organization with a similar objective includes the Foundation for NIH (FNIH), which is an independent non-profit organization that works within the healthcare field. The organization raises private funds and creates public-private partnerships to support healthcare access to different communities in the country (Nongovernmental Organizations, 2019). The firm supports the mandate of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the country.
Barriers to health care access in the United States are common and affect minority communities such as African Americans. Individual and neighborhood socioeconomic disadvantage, resource limitations, and lack of adequate education on disease prevention and health promotion are significant hindrances to optimal healthcare access. The National Medical Association (NMA) and the Foundation for NIH (FNIH) are some of the organizations that are working to change the health care narratives for the minority communities through research and funding.
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