The Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have valuable resources on their websites in recognition of National Minority Health Disparities month. This year, CDC and HHS are focusing on health equity and access to affordable healthcare for all.
Health disparities can result from a number of factors – limited access to quality, affordable health care and preventative services, physical activity and fresh food and produce, and unhealthy environments at home and work.
In 2009, health disparities among African-Americans and Hispanics cost private insurers an additional $5.1 billion. Indirect costs associated with unscheduled absences and productivity losses associated with family and personal health problems cost U.S. employers $225 billion annually. Medical and health research can reduce disparities, improve health care delivery and drive down health care costs. A diverse healthcare work force as well as multicultural training for healthcare professionals will also improve patient care.
Click here to learn more about minority health disparities and what can be done to promote health equity for all Americans. Also visit the CDC’s website to read about programs to reduce minority health disparities; their initiatives include vaccination strategies to reduce childhood infection and diabetes educational programs.