Addressing disparities in access to healthcare for underserved populations in 2021

Addressing disparities in access to healthcare for underserved populations in 2021

The global coronavirus pandemic is just the latest in decades of healthcare devastation for BIPOC communities: more disease, less care, more deaths. Many diseases disproportionately affect certain populations due to disparities in access to health care, but the pandemic has helped to highlight racism as a public health problem that must be widely addressed. In 2021 and beyond, our government and our health systems will need to make major changes to address health inequalities among ethnic groups, minorities and low-income populations.

In the two decades since the Institute of Medicine’s groundbreaking report, Unequal treatment confirmed that differences in the quality of health care services may be related to the racial and ethnic origins of patients, annual studies from the US Department of Health and Human Services show little has changed. The last National report on the quality and disparities in health care showed that BIPOC patients received poorer care than whites on about 40 percent of quality measures, and that uninsured adults of all racial / ethnic groups are still at least twice as likely as their white peers to be go from a visit to the doctor.

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