Expository Essay on Health and Healthcare Disparities

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814 words
Carnegie Mellon University
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Health disparity on its own refers to the burden of disability, illness or even injury. On the other hand, healthcare disparities are the differences that are visible in the process of accessing health services and facilities.

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Determinants of Health Disparities

Health disparities are determined by various issues. For instance, environmental exposure where an individual contracts disease such as polio. Molecular epidemiology shows that certain environmental conditions such as tropical latitudes, contaminated water sources, and even poor sewerage systems are significant causes of not only polio but various diseases. Ostensibly, social circumstances are another determinant where people believe in different myths regarding a particular disease thus instead of seeking medical attention from healthcare providers they tend to look for traditional healing. Shortfalls in medical care and health behavior are a determinant of health disparities too since the less number of health centers in a given region implies a lack of adequate essential health services to meet the entire population.

The Importance of Considering Health Disparities

In examining health disparities, it is easy to eliminate the factors behind their existence thus creating a healthy environment. Furthermore, with this consideration, developing health interventions as well as delivering medical services are easily designed therefore reducing the health gap.

How Ethics and Professionalism Interact When Considering Healthcare Disparities?

Professionalism is majorly on the grounds of education and practice in delivering health services to patients. In this case, for professionalism to be efficient in considering health care disparities, ethics comes in and provides values for these professionals on how to make decisions that will positively affect public health. Additionally, professionalism highly depends on ethics in developing a language to address patients as well as the people and also in defining other medical concepts.

Legal Issues Prone To Occur When Working With the Medically Underserved and Economically Disadvantaged

Underserved and economically disadvantaged areas in most cases experience a chronic shortage of nurses. In this case, the few nurses available have a role in serving the large population of patients, a situation that can lead to various legal issues. For instance, a healthcare provider can wrongly prescribe medicine to the patient given the confusion that occurs from serving a more significant population (Penner et al., 2010). From this issue, the patient may end up developing other complications that may lead to legal actions being taken against the healthcare provider. Additionally, the problem of some patients not being attended to is prone to happen. Mortality rates may increase due to lack of receiving health attention from the health facility due to lack of medicine in the facility prescribed to the patient. Or in another case, the patient may die before receiving attention due to the large population. Another legal issue prone to occur is that the healthcare provider may give the patient an underdose due to lack of enough medicine in the facility thus causing the patient to be in a critical state or even die.

Roles of The State, Community, And Provider In Reducing Health Disparities

The state has a role of increasing workforce diversity, addressing social determinants of health as well as improving cultural competence in healthcare services to ensure that the disparities are seriously minimized. The state furthermore should invest in community development approaches by providing resources to aid in progressing the disparity programs. Without these strategies, health disparities continue to be a threat to the economic state of any given nation. Similarly, the community’s role in reducing the issue of health disparities is to create initiatives that publicly address issues related to health and thus create awareness on the need to practice activities that are health favorable (Penner et al., 2010). Arguably, community leaders should create platforms where they can meet with people and explicitly develop a community-development field where people can collaborate and empower each other on the need to have clinically sound approaches to health behaviors. Healthcare providers, in this case, have little to do in that their role is to provide medical attention in case of health issues. At the same time, they should educate patients on the need to practice a healthy lifestyle.

The Relationship between Chronic Diseases And Health Disparity

Health disparities exist among chronic diseases, for instance, cancer and hypertension. This fact is so since certain lifestyle issues such as physical inactivity and poor nutrition put a person at risk of chronic diseases.

Research needs that are present in the clinical area to address healthcare disparities

The issue of health disparities negatively impacting both patients and healthcare providers, the clinical area has embarked on developing Websites to address the issue of health disparities, routine tests for chronic diseases, drug policies, family-planning initiatives as well as needle-exchange programs (Penner et al., 2010).


Penner, L. A., Albrecht, T. L., Orom, H., Coleman, D. K., & Underwood III, W. (2010). Health and health care disparities. The Sage handbook of prejudice, stereotyping and discrimination, 472-490.

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