What’s the difference; a commonly asked question when I present statistics about health or healthcare disparities. They seem pretty much the same, but the truth is they are not.
Healthcare disparities are all about the availability or access to care. This could mean the number of available providers in a certain town or even the type of insurance being accepting at a dentist office. So even if you have a great job with great benefits, healthcare disparity says you still won’t have easy access to the preventative care that you need. It means that there are not enough providers to offer the managed care that you are entitled to through your insurance.
Health disparities, on the other hand, is all about defined populations and the rate in which disease occurs based on historic socioeconomic backgrounds. Imagine your grandmother not having health insurance or access to medical care. Imagine her not knowing where to go to find access. How does she teach her child, your mother, how to access something she knows nothing about? How does your mother teach you? Now replace access to medical care with education about nutrition, financing, or seeking advanced education. Combine this factor with a lack of resources, like jobs or afterschool educational programs.
What factors contribute to health disparities?
- Socioeconomic status (SES) measures a person’s social, economic, and work status.
- Access to Health Care Services.
- Social Behaviors.
- Social and Built Environments.
(Click here for more information about these factors)
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