Written by Theertha, Teen Volunteer
Halifax Public Libraries' Teen Blog is written by and for teens. Discover more posts here., opens a new window
It is time to address the racial biases that millions of people face when it comes to healthcare.
Racial minorities exist all over the world. Individuals who belong to minority groups are subject to uneven access, poor quality, and horrendous healthcare. The fact that many people are subject to this from healthcare systems across the world, shows that we need to bring attention and focus to this issue.
In many articles, it is addressed how Black and Hispanic patients receive a higher degree of maltreatment compared to other patients. For minority groups, maltreatment can be routine and frequent. The disappointing thing is that these patients know they aren’t being treated equally to their counterparts, and that they have very few alternatives to turn to.
When it comes to healthcare providers, they are one of the biggest factors impacting this issue. The attitudes and behaviours that come from them directly contribute to the health disparities and quality of care a patient receives. Even though most individuals don’t wake up and choose to present these attitudes to patients and minority groups, their thoughts, feelings, biases, and opinions often exist outside conscious awareness. This can be hard for a healthcare provider or individual to consciously control or acknowledge.
Healthcare systems all over the world should take ownership and responsibility for this issue. Healthcare systems are run and operated by individuals with various social beliefs, economic standings, and backgrounds, making it harder to address the significant problems that many individuals face to this day. Bias and prejudice attitudes are just as present and as involved in healthcare workers as in the general population. We can try to minimize the amount of these attitudes that are present but probably won’t ever be able to get them down to zero—we are human after all.
It is extremely important to change and not to exert attitudes like this onto anyone. Race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic standing shouldn't be a factor in providing quality healthcare. Healthcare organizations can not be on the sidelines, as they watch these issues spiral and blame them on social forces.
It is time to address this injustice and take action.
Looking for inspiration? Check out these websites I used to source information:
Health Affairs, opens a new window
About the writer
Hi! My name is Theertha and I’m a grade 12 student with future goals of becoming a paediatrician. I enjoy spending time with friends and family and love volunteering.