Want to Improve Public Health? Eradicate Racism

The following is an excerpt from an op-ed by NHC CEO Randall Rutta, published by Morning Consult. Read more here.

 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently declared that racism is a serious public health threat directly undermining the well-being of millions of Americans. We agree, and the problem is systemic.

The entire U.S. health care system is rife with inequity, disparity and discrimination. Seeking routine health care can be challenging, depending on where you live and your insurance status. For instance, health care facilities are often not located in marginalized communities because of city planning and development that prioritizes wealthier populations, forcing people to travel long distances to access basic care. As a result, accessing care, particularly specialty care, can be more difficult for underserved populations, specifically in some urban and rural areas where health care resources are limited and more people are uninsured.

Patients, especially those who live with chronic diseases and disabilities, have had firsthand experience with discrimination and the structural barriers tied to location, personal income, employment and insurance status for so long. We believe that their collective experience is essential to changing the system. Together, we can play a key role in shifting attitudes and the environment to defeat the impact of discrimination on people’s health.

Read more here.

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