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The majority of the population in my neighborhood is made up of Hispanics and African Americans, who are considered minority groups in terms of access to basic necessities. Both groups now lack access to adequate healthcare services and are predicted to have 30% to 40% lower health outcomes than white Americans. The gap has contributed to the two groups' high mortality rates and rising illnesses. These groups have poor insurance coverage rates; the proportion of children without insurance in these populations is 5.5 times greater than the national norm (PérezEscamilla, Garcia, & Song, 2010). African Americans as well as Hispanics who have low income are unable to afford healthcare services, and as such, rarely get medical attention due to the fact that they are unable to afford the services. A fundamental issue affecting the minority groups is lack of confidence in accessing healthcare due to miscommunication, language barrier, and cultural beliefs that is different from the western culture. There is, however, variation in the prevalence of health-related diseases such as breast cancer, diabetes, and heart diseases among the groups; patients with diabetes, for instance, are 2 times higher among Hispanics and 3 times higher among African Americans (Pérez‐Escamilla, Garcia, & Song, 2010). This variation is attributed to the varying income and lifestyle disparities.
In order to address the challenges facing the two groups, it is important to recruit and increase the number of interpreters who would promote healthcare understanding and awareness among the groups. A fundamental program to consider is the pipeline program which plays a key role in ensuring that minority students are involved in the healthcare careers (Acosta & Olsen, 2006). The program ensures that students from these groups overcome educational barriers and increase their frequency of medical school application. These programs cannot only address the demographic, academic, cultural, and financial barriers, but also ensure that there is minority representation in the healthcare services.
Acosta, D., & Olsen, P. (2006). Meeting the needs of regional minority groups: the University of Washington’s programs to increase the American Indian and Alaskan native physician workforce. Academic Medicine, 81(10), 863-870.
Pérez‐Escamilla, R., Garcia, J., & Song, D. (2010). Health care access among Hispanic immigrants:¿ Alguien está escuchando?[Is anybody listening?]. Annals of Anthropological Practice, 34(1), 47-67.
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