Effects of Racism on Healthcare
Racism traverses almost all spheres of life (Field, 2007). It threatens the prosperity of humankind from various angles. Healthcare, particularly in the US, is under great threat from this vice (Sue, 2006). America is one of the most diverse countries in the world in terms of race (Luckman, 2005). This creates a huge challenge in fostering nondiscriminatory coexistence. Racial abuses occur daily in the United States. The most affected are the black people. They have to cope with all manner of discrimination almost daily. This, evidently, creates a negative impact on various sectors of the economy.
Health care is an essential part of a person’s life. Proliferation of this sector by racism has serious consequences (Field, 2007). Racism in health care mostly manifests itself in two ways. First, it occurs through worker to patient discrimination (Luckman, 2005). The second one is related to various forms of discrimination at work. This results in numerous challenges in health care.
Racism has a long history. Its effect has created many imbalances more so in education (Sue, 2006). This has in turn led to unequal economic empowerment among races. This tends to further the problem of racism. Races like blacks, browns, or reds are still sometimes viewed as inferior. Due to discrimination, their social welfare is not well catered for (Luckman, 2005). This results in lifestyle diseases or, in other words, diseases of longevity. Economically, a majority of them are not stable. This leads to challenges in attaining quality healthcare.
Lifestyle diseases are also subjected to risky environments. This occurs mainly due to the poor state of individuals’ residences or due to the occupations they involve themselves in (Field, 2007). Besides, they also suffer mental illnesses. This often occurs because of the racism-related traumas (Sue, 2006). Discriminated races are stereotypically targeted for drug abuse. This leads to several cases of mental illnesses among such races. Overall, they are discriminated against in medical care (Luckman, 2005). This compounds all the other problems that they face. Racial discrimination in health care takes two forms.
Worker to patient discrimination occurs when an attendant racially discriminates against a patient (Sue, 2006). This is mostly prevalent in cases involving white doctors. Some of them often discriminate against such races as blacks and Latinos. It usually takes various forms. For instance, a doctor may give a patient inadequate treatment based on their race (Field, 2007). This occurs because he/she consider them inferior, which eventually results in the lack of due attention and quality treatment for the patient leading to constant recurrences of diseases (Luckman, 2005). This has an effect of higher mortality rates. People from discriminated races also continue slumping into oblivion. This is because their poor health reduces their general productivity.
Another form of racism occurs through differential treatment (Luckman, 2005). White patients are sometimes accorded better treatment than the others are. This may occur in the form of services offered. Many report that in a great number of instances, white doctors are swifter when attending to fellow whites (Sue, 2006). This is usually not the case when it comes to treatment of the members of other races.
Races like, for instance, blacks take a long time before they are attended to (Luckman, 2005). This is as opposed to white patients. As a result, patients from such races stop seeking medical attention from doctors in order to avoid psychological tension from being discriminated. This reduces the overall percentage of medical coverage. Because of this, it becomes much harder to eradicate some diseases (Sue, 2006). The diseases spread from the infected to even the whites, which gives the health care systems a hard task of controlling them. In addition, drug resistant diseases occur as a result of a poor drug administration (Field, 2007). This costs the government much money to treat such cases.
It is not rare that the doctors hurl racist remarks to patients of other races. They treat them as of inferior intelligence (Luckman, 2005). Most of them have demeaning attitudes to races like blacks, browns, or reds. As a result, they tend to offer poor services to patients of such races. This often results in unavoidable deaths. On the other hand, patients feel humiliated by such racist incidents, which leads to failure of attending such institutions in case of another illness (Sue, 2006). Because of this, the system’s numerous efforts of combating diseases are greatly undermined. Therefore, cases of other diseases like mental illnesses occur due to psychological traumas associated with such experiences. This increases a medical burden on the part of the government (Luckman, 2005). Such cases lead to racist attacks causing multiple injuries, which are sometimes even fatal. Treatment of injuries occasioned by those attacks adds on to medical expenses (Field, 2007). Such mistreatments by the provider have great negative impacts on health care. These occur in form of costs as well as increased deaths.
Discrimination among Workers
Health care workers, just like number of patients, are not spared of racial discrimination. Reports of such incidences have been reported in several states in the USA (Sue, 2006). They take various forms that are different in terms of the manner in which the discrimination is perpetuated. These tend to undermine the effectiveness of the health systems. One form of this discrimination occurs as the lack of cooperation between workers (Field, 2007). This exists because the workers are often of different races, and members of one race happen to feel superior to the others. It becomes difficult for such a people to receive instructions from the other party, which might lead to provision of poor services. This discrimination both filters down the workers and leads to discrimination between workers and patients (Luckman, 2005).
When fellow workers discriminate against others, they feel demoralized (Sue, 2006). Such racism leads to low self-esteem and, as a result, the productivity of the worker is greatly reduced. Consequently, poor quality services are offered to the patients of different races. This greatly affects the health system in the US (Luckman, 2005). Today, government takes constant efforts to eliminate racism in health care, which costs a lot of money.
Another case of discrimination occurs between senior practitioners and their juniors. Some white doctors are reluctant to pass on the knowledge they have to their juniors of other races (Field, 2007). This is majorly due to their negative attitude towards people of other races. Racism also occurs the other way round. Senior black doctors also fail to share their knowledge with their white juniors (Sue, 2006). This is usually due to the racial experiences that they undergo or used to undergo in the past. This results in lack of knowledge transfer, why the quality of services is greatly hampered. Another example of racist attitude may be the one that is expressed by the patients to the worker. Some whites view blacks as of lower intelligence (Field, 2007). They therefore refuse to be treated by black doctors. This racism is mostly directed at workers from minority races, which may often lead to their isolation from other colleagues. They tend to resent them and might even stop to associate with them freely (Luckman, 2005). This greatly affects the effectiveness of health institutions.
Racism greatly affects health care in the United States (Luckman, 2005). Its effects threaten to cripple the system. This vice manifests itself in various ways, affecting both the patients and their attendants. Those who suffer most are people from minority races. They are often accorded health care in a discriminatory way. Because of this, it has become difficult to control the occurrence and contraction of various diseases. The government uses much money in efforts to fight drug resistant diseases, which arise as a result (Field, 2007). This creates many challenges in the provision of standard health services.
Various forms of racism range from negligence to negative attitude towards people of other races (Sue, 2006). Health care is a vital part of any person’s life. Racism in this sector is a sensitive issue since it may even lead to deaths in races affected. In turn, it becomes very difficult to curb racism in addition to deterioration of health care. Racism experiences in such sensitive areas lead to entrenchment of racism (Field, 2007). Stringent measures need to be enforced to curb this vice. Failure to do this may result in the collapse of health system.