Health and Illness Among African-Americans | Free Essay Example

Health and Illness Among African-Americans

Words: 610
Topic: Health & Medicine


In Miami, people have different perceptions of health and illness. Latinos, African-Americans, and Asian-Americans constitute some of the ethnic minorities who are highly vulnerable to inequalities when it comes to healthcare accessibility. This paper focuses on the perception of health and illness among African-Americans in Miami.

Statistics on Healthcare Disparities among African-Americans in Miami

The capacity to access quality health care depends on a region’s economic status. Among the ethnic minorities in Miami, these factors influence equality in healthcare accessibility in two ways. Firstly, low-income earners can sparingly afford health care insurance. Secondly, they live under conditions that are likely to expose them to more health risks. Such conditions include homelessness or drug and substance abuse (Hafetz, 2009).

Statistical findings indicate that African-Americans constitute ethnic minority groups that are most likely to have low accessibility to health care because of their low-income status. For example, in 2013, the US Census Bureau reported that 27% of African-Americans live in poverty compared to 11% Asian Americans and 12% Caucasians (DeNavas-Walt & Bernadette, 2014).

The United States Department of Health and Human Services Agency for Health Care Research and Quality (2013) reported that by 2012, 24% of the low-income population and 23% of the poor population did not have any health insurance. In total, 18% of African-Americans and 16% of Asian-Americans lacked healthcare insurance by 2012. This finding indicates the correlation between ethnic disparities in healthcare accessibility based on income or poverty status.

Specific Experiential Experience of Stereotyping: How it has Influenced Health Care

African-Americans have traditionally faced racial exclusion in the care system. African-Americans are highly vulnerable to homelessness due to their low-social economic status. A common stereotype is that homelessness is a characteristic of all African-Americans in Miami and that they are racially inferior (Hafetz, 2009). This perception hinders them from seeking quality health care since they consider it a reserve of the culturally advanced people.

They are also stereotyped as individuals who are used to drug addiction with the perception that nothing can be done to end the problem since drug compulsion characterizes them. Addicts cannot engage in any productive labor. This situation worsens not only their health but also that of their families and the community by increasing poverty levels. Poverty reduces their ability to access health insurance and/or paid care.

Example of Health Inequity

Despite the fact that African-Americans are vulnerable to poor accessibility of health care in Miami, various inequalities are unjust. Such inequalities are avoidable in Miami. From my observation and experience in the work environment, knowledge of the susceptibility and likelihood of high drug addiction among African-Americans lead to the consideration of certain illnesses that relate to drug use and addition such as mental illnesses among African-Americans as self-induced.

This case gives rise to a tendency to address issues of mental illness among the Whites with critical attention to digging out its causes. This approach is unfair and unjust since people are equal in all aspects, especially with regard to healthcare accessibility, regardless of their demographic differences. All practitioners should note that no specific ethnic group creates conditions that can impair their health status.


Increasing the number of clinicians advocates equitable care. Health care researchers contend that eliminating health care disparities among different population segments is critical to achieving increased collective healthcare outcomes. This plan has led to an increased effort by healthcare researchers in studying caregiving disparities. The area of focus revolves around identifying risky population segments based on inequalities in accessing health care. However, more efforts should be applied in eliminating remnant challenges that relate to health care access among ethnic minorities such as African-Americans in Miami by fighting negative stereotyping.

Reference List

DeNavas-Walt, C., & Bernadette, P. (2014). Income and Poverty in the United States. Web.

Hafetz, J. (2009). Homeless Legal Advocacy: New Challenges and Directions for the Future. Fordham Urban Law Journal, 12(5), 1222-1229.

The United States Department of Health and Human Services Agency for Health Care Research and Quality. (2013). National Health Care Disparities Report. Web.