Image credit: ShutterStock

Black Parents and Their Children Report Higher Rates of Discriminatory Treatment in Healthcare Settings


Black parents and their children face unfair treatment when seeking medical attention more often than anyone else, according to a new study. 

Newly released by the Urban Institute, the study is based on information provided by the Health Reform Monitoring Survey. Launched in 2013, the Health Reform Survey collects data on access to and the use of health care at quarterly rates, with the latest survey conducted in June of this year. 

In their study, the researchers found that one in five, or 22%, of Black parents who were participants said that they felt they were judged unfairly or mistreated in the past 12 months in a healthcare setting. The parents reported that they were discriminated against because of their race or ethnicity, health insurance type, weight, income, disability, language or other aspects of their identity. 

The percentage of Black parents who reported unfair treatment was the highest out of all racial and ethnic groups, recording a rate that was 10% more than the parents who are Hispanic, white or part of any other group.

As nine percent of Black parents also reported that their child was met with unfair treatment in a healthcare setting, past experiences are increasing concerns for future visits. Approximately 40% of Black parents reported that they were worried that they or other family members will also be discriminated against again in future healthcare visits. 

“These experiences are disproportionately affecting parents of color and their children, especially Black parents, and so understanding and interrupting these experiences of under-treatment and health care could be an important step towards helping to close a lot of the racial and ethnic health inequities that we see,” said the senior researchers at the Urban Institute and a co-author, Dulce Gonzalez, per CNN

Overall, a variety of disparities exist in the medical world for Black Americans that prevent them from receiving equal care. 

Due to racial inequality, Black Americans are often forced to deal with more issues than white patients when getting surgical procedures at the same hospitals and are less likely to receive the treatment they need even when faced with advanced stages of cancer.

When it comes to mental health issues, Black Americans are more often misdiagnosed by medical professionals and are more likely to receive a delayed diagnosis. 

“There’s going to be a lot of changes that are needed on multiple fronts that address … not only sort-of implicit and explicit biases that providers and their staff could hold towards people of color, but also just broader changes in how we’re delivering health care,” said Gonzalez per CNN.

You May Also Like