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Social Injustice and Racial Disparities in the Healthcare


In the light of racial inequalities in social structures, ethnic disparities should be addressed in medical care. Systemic discrimination is also supported by social policy and implicit prejudice based on pessimistic assumptions. Coping with differences in care quality effectively calls for better data systems, enhanced surveillance in regulators, and new strategies to properly educate physicians and hire more providers from marginalized backgrounds. This paper explains the prevalence of social injustices and racial disparities in healthcare, mainly associated with patients and providers. Data on the affected people and the average rate of its effect has been presented based on research and review of various research journal articles. The results and their implication have been explained along with the potential impacts and further recommendation. The paper attempts to answer how social injustices and racial disparities have prevailed in healthcare affecting the patients and the practitioners.

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National priority should be given to identifying and implementing successful strategies to eradicate racial inequalities in health and medical care. As the number of hospitals, clinics, and medical institutions rises, the demand for successful healthcare administrators increases. The managers need to balance the official, political, economic, and social aspects of healthcare to manage their facilities. By fostering and projecting healthcare social justice models and providing fair access and equal treatment for patients, managers can be influential leaders in the medical fields.

Overview of the Topic

National figures show that both black and white people’s health in the United States has risen over the last 50 years, demonstrated by higher life expectancies and reductions in child and adult mortality. But the rates of morbidity and mortality of black people are also higher than those of whites for most physical health measures. Hispanics and American Indians also have high rates of various diseases and deaths (Ferdinand et al., 2017). While medical attention is very restricted as a driver of health, it can play an essential role in healthcare – mainly preventive measures, early treatment, and the correct management of chronic illness. Therefore, the racial and ethnic differences in the quantity and standard of treatment are likely to contribute to racial health inequalities. Because of their higher unemployment rates and the under-funding in high-paying industries, which provide health benefits as part of a compensation package, black persons or other minorities are lower in the United States than white persons.

Review of Literature

The large and increasing number of studies that detect racial disparities in receipt of effective treatment procedures for a broad range of conditions even after the disease’s insurance status and seriousness. Johnson (2020) states that the racial inequalities in situations where economic rate and insurance benefits are reduced to a minimum are especially shocking to many, such as the Veterans Health Administration System and the program Medicare. Other evidence suggests that, while doctors’ ability to detect pain intensity in Hispanic and non-Hispanic white patients does not vary, Hispanic patients are markedly less likely to receive sufficient analgesia than non-Hispanic white patients. According to recently conducted studies, these disparities in the receipt of treatments harm health for minority groups.

Race and ethnic minority participants are less likely than whites to receive preventive health services and receive less high-quality treatment. For such circumstances, they often have poorer health outcomes. To combat these differences, as Darius (2021) explained, health practitioners must specifically recognize the ethnicity and prejudice in the healthcare sector. This topic of Transforming Care provides examples of healthcare systems that aim to identify unconscious biases and systemic bias and establish custom methods to engage and help patients enhance their effects. Darius (2021) further synthesized this as an ethical issue explaining that racial and ethnic minorities in the United States are less likely to be treated preventively and less effectively than whites.

The study by Green et al. (2018) most interestingly showed that the results of health outcomes among blacks, in particular, were much worse than those of whites while taking into account wealth, the community, comorbid disease, and the form of health care insurance – variables usually invoked to explain race inequalities. This research journal is mainly concerned with attempts to ensure that all Americans have equitable opportunities to live longer and more stable lives than efforts to increase or reduce healthcare costs. However, such ethical issues like racial disparities with the healthcare setting leading to bad results and mistreatment of the patients and the practitioners have been addressed.

The biological significance of race definition is negligible, despite its social relevance. 8 There are concerns with race’s authenticity and durability, in addition to its deficiencies as a system. Ferdinand et al. (2017) explain that collection of race data methods includes self-reporting, direct observation, proxy reporting, and record extraction. The self-reporting race is generally the most trustworthy and should be preferred. However, given the number of people who belong to many racial classes, individuals’ classification into one group becomes increasingly complex, making interpreting race effects more complicated in research studies.

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Advocates say that health practitioners should specifically consider racial and ethnic health discrepancies in healthcare. Attempts to enhance health outcomes do not result in similar improvements among populations, and, in some situations, can even intensify racial health inequalities. They cannot take into consideration specific factors that may contribute to worse outcomes for blacks, Hispanics or another colored patient. It is essential to address social factors such as insecure housing, which can lead to poor health, and accept past and present policies – such as redoubling, disposal procedures, and disinvestment in low-income communities – that fuel housing instability (Green et al., 2018). Since the emphasis is on social determinants, healthcare organizations, payers, and others, health staff and leaders should wonder how these approaches base on systemic racism and equality framework. However, even the most creative ideas will not eliminate injustice and disease, if they are unable to address the question rigorously and candor fully.

Acculturation is another concept that is often used to describe ethnic disparities in health outcomes. Based on the acculturate stress as an indicative or overt indicator, it is believed that cultural backgrounds, beliefs, and convictions contribute to specific actions and individual decision-making in health. The knowledge presented demonstrates why there must be more vigorous debates regarding public financing for social welfare and the introduction, regardless of background status, of an extensive social-democratic network for everyone (Darius, 2021). Advocacy for oppressed people is critical to educate those unaware of the terrible difficulties in which minorities live.

However, Darius (2021) also contented that some observations that would confirm a thorough investigation into the priority we give to healthcare in the US, despite its interpretive philosophy. Given that we are aware of risk factors, the African American community will sharply share a burden for the lousy health results in its populations, but this cannot be outweighed by the fact that in African American and Caucasian societies, there are significant healthcare gaps. Further study is needed to fully understand the impact of the social and public health systems on social injustices; however, equality will continue to grow within African American and minority populations unless the government incorporates equitable policies on healthcare.

Meanwhile, black people from the Caribbean and Africa, referred to as “blacks” for this report, have different cultural traditions than black people born and raised in the United States. They each have their own set of cultural values. Such apparent disparities in attitudes, ideas, and behaviors are not due to the current race and ethnicity classification system. Researchers would need to isolate the effects of poverty on race, gender, and community and assess these variables’ significance and measure. While these studies’ findings are significant, the inherent flaws of most ethnic studies must be highlighted. Race is a less important determinant of health outcomes than socioeconomic status, according to studies. When the socioeconomic status is taken into account, and in some cases, the race effect is eliminated, the influence of race and ethnicity on health outcomes continues to decline dramatically, according to some reports. The question is whether race and gender, race or ethnicity, socioeconomic status, a combination of both of these factors, or an unmeasured factor in health care have been discovered (Ferdinand et al., 2017). The study of racial health inequalities is driven by a genetic model that assumes race is a functional biological classification.

Another element widely used in health inequality research is race. The Management and Budget Office includes documents that identify minimum requirements for preserving, collecting, and presenting race and ethnicity data. The Standard contains ethnic groups “Latino” and “Not Hispanic” categories, as well as racial categories: Indians or Alaskans from America; Asians; black or African Americans; Hawaiians from native or other Pacific Islands. The term “ethnicity” is used to define racial classes further, but it comes with its own historical, political, and social baggage, like caste. The current definition of ethnicity is vague and subjective. For example, the term “Hispanic” encompasses over 400 million people from various ethnic and sub-ethnic groups in over twenty different countries (Green et al., 2018). As a result, assessing the importance of ethnic differences can be challenging. Despite these limitations, ethnicity, when combined with race, provides more detail as long as researchers characterize their conception and justify their findings’ validity, reliability, and accuracy.

The idea of culture as distinct from race or ethnicity has been proposed as a more accurate description of the distinctions between health behavior and health effects. Culture is described and conceptualized in a variety of ways by different disciplines. Culture is characterized as an integrated human behavior pattern that includes language, concepts, communications, behaviors, customs, convictions, beliefs, and traditions of ethnic, racial, spiritual, or social classes, according to the United States Department of Health and Human Services Minority Health Division (Green et al., 2018). The culture was described as ‘specific shared values, beliefs and practices that are directly related to health behavior, indirectly linked to conduct, or that affect the acceptance and acceptance health education communication.

Other people have described culture as “the learned, shared beliefs, values and ways of life of a specific community which generally communicate how one thinks and acts” (Green et al., 2018). Such researchers must accept that understanding someone’s ethnic identity or national origin does not accurately anticipate views nor behaviors, even though culture is a correct explanation for racial and ethnic health disparities. Instead, the cultural characteristics to be evaluated and steps to capture these cultural characteristics need to be identified.

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Ethical Considerations

Within the country, there are plenty of health services, state-of-the-art technologies, and pharmaceuticals, which not all communities have readily accessible. Faced with certain inequalities in health and federal decision-making, equitable access to the services required to minimize the burden and eradicate hospitals and facilities serving minority communities and spending overall more because of lack of insurance should be guaranteed. This can be done by raising Medicaid and reducing healthcare costs. Another possible reduction in health inequalities in color groups may be increased insurance coverage and providers’ access for the under-served community. Another example might be increased State and federal support for outreach and registration aid, raising a range of colored communities.


The studies indicate that prejudice perceived does not explain disparities in racial and ethnic use of preventive care services. Second, the lack of medical innovation could hinder new black technology and explain the observed discrepancies in advanced medical technology. Third, depression may be a general term beneficial for racial/ethnic groups. The findings of these studies, as already stated, must be read with caution and must be brought into the proper sense of the conceptual constraints of the United States’ race and ethnicity measurement and description.

However, these studies’ results highlight that research on the perception of racial and ethnic health outcomes must continue to be financed. The need to develop the authenticity and reliability of buildings and instruments across racial, ethnic, and cultural groups is growing as the United States diversifies. Investigators should also investigate how disparities in ethnic risk aversion and patient preferences affect decision-making and health results. Moreover, legitimate study matters should remain perceived prejudice, racial distortion, and stereotyping. Further research is required to assess if these factors contribute significantly to health inequalities and define strategies for minimizing or eliminating health effects.


Darius D. R. (2021). Racial disparities in healthcare: how Covid-19 ravaged one of the wealthiest African-American counties in the United States. Social Work in Public Health, 36(2), 1-10.

Ferdinand, K. C., Yadav, K., Nasser, S. A., Clayton‐Jeter, H. D., Lewin, J., Cryer, D. R., & Senatore, F. F. (2017). Disparities in hypertension and cardiovascular disease in blacks: The critical role of medication adherence. The Journal of Clinical Hypertension, 19(10), 1015-1024.

Green, C. R., McCullough, W. R., & Hawley, J. D. (2018). Visiting black patients: Racial disparities in security standby requests. Journal of the National Medical Association, 110(1), 37-43.

Johnson, T. J. (2020). The intersection of bias, structural racism, and social determinants with health care inequities. Pediatrics, 146(2), 1-3.

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