The design of the healthcare model, as narrated by Dr. Mitchell Katz in a TED talk, is based on a middle-class model that ignores the needs of those individuals in low socioeconomic classes. Healthcare workers do not take time to understand the obstacles of their low-income patients before criticizing them. Dr. Katz presents various assumptions of this middle-class model to show the hardships of economically disadvantaged groups (Katz, 2018). These individuals have to deal with issues ranging from lack of basic needs, such as food and shelter, inadequate resources for transport, and hostile neighborhoods where violence is a norm to communication problems. Osborn et al. (2016) report a survey that affirmed the claims of Dr. Katz by revealing that healthcare costs in a population that barely affords its necessities result in missed appointments and healthcare disparities. Hence, barriers to healthcare access in the United States exist along socioeconomic lines.
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Dr. Katz recommends understanding the needs of this special population without resources. Rather than deem them resistant and uncooperative, it is important to address the hardships that they may be experiencing to miss an appointment or seek timely care. Reaching out to the clients wherever overcomes obstacles and offers them what they need and what healthcare givers think that low-income patients need (Katz, 2018). A patient with diabetes, for example, needs a healthy diet before insulin administration because insulin on an empty stomach yields devastating side effects, such as hypoglycemia. A literature review by Butkus et al. (2020), too, advocates for addressing social determinants of health through a reliable healthcare workforce. Other than ensuring patients get what they need, a committed workforce, which adheres to the policies of safety net systems, is essential. It can help bridge the gap of health disparity and ensure all individuals can effectively and efficiently access the health care they need.
Butkus, R., Rapp, K., Cooney, T. G., & Engel, L. S. (2020). Envisioning a better U.S. health care system for all: Reducing barriers to care and addressing social determinants of health. Annals of Internal Medicine, 172(2 Suppl), S50–S59. Web.
Katz, M. (2018). What the US healthcare system assumes about you. TED. Web.
Osborn, R., Squires, D., Doty, M. M., Sarnak, D. O., & Schneider, E. C. (2016). In new survey of 11 countries, U.S. adults still struggle with access to and affordability of health care. Health Affairs, 35(12), 2327-2336. Web.