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Every American citizen is entitled to quality and safe health services. Unfortunately, different regions in the country have recorded numerous gaps and disparities in medical services. In Western New York (WNY), many people are affected by the existing disparities in health services. This paper uses three peer-reviewed journal articles to examine the differences and disparities in health care services in WNY. The targeted disparity is the nature of inequality in accessing healthcare services.
New York is one of the states with uniform insurance cover and income (McDonough, 2015). However, the community still faces numerous healthcare delivery disparities. McDonough (2015) indicates that health disparities in different counties are associated with gender, racial, and ethnic differences. The elderly, disabled, and homeless persons lack access to exemplary healthcare services (Sanchez, Ybarra, Chapa, & Martinez, 2016). Individuals with psychiatric conditions lack access to adequate preventive and primary health care.
This health disparity is relevant to the nursing profession because of a number of reasons. The first one is that the existing gaps can empower nurses to develop superior models. Secondly, practitioners can examine the nature of these disparities and implement powerful strategies to promote health equity (Noonan, Mondragon, & Wagner, 2016). Curriculum developers in nursing can also examine the problem and offer evidence-based concepts to ensure more people receive high-quality health services.
The article “Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care Access and Utilization under the Affordable Care Act” indicates that ethnicity and race are powerful categories that affect people’s health outcomes (Chen, Vargas-Bustamante, Mortensen, & Ortega, 2016). Some Americans from marginalized groups lack access to better health services such as African Americans, Asian Americans, and Latinos. The unavailability of resources explains why minorities find it hard to get timely health services. Due to the nature of health delivery systems, such groups are affected the most by numerous conditions such as cancers, chronic diseases, premature deaths, and homelessness (Chen et al., 2016). Obesity has also been found to affect many minority races. It is also a risk factor for numerous illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer.
In the second article “Improving the Health of African Americans in the USA: An Overdue Opportunity for Social Justice”, it is observed that many African Americans are affected the most by different types of cardiovascular disease. Statistics indicate that minority races are 30 percent more likely to record premature deaths in comparison with whites (Noonan et al., 2016). The percentage is also high for stroke-related deaths. In WNY, the existing health delivery systems targeting minorities are inadequate. The economic positions of such groups make it impossible for them to acquire evidence-based medical services (Noonan et al., 2016). The systems have also failed to consider specific illnesses that affect minorities.
McDonough (2015) indicates that health care access in America’s rural areas is quite low. The elderly lack quality services and care models. Additionally, veterans receive inadequate care in WNY. This analysis indicates clearly that WNY is a community with numerous health care disparities. The article “Eliminating Behavioral Health Disparities and Improving Outcomes for Racial and Ethnic Minority Populations” offers useful insights for minimizing disparities in healthcare services (Sanchez et al., 2016). For instance, new policies and superior health delivery systems can be designed to tackle the challenge. This issue is significant since policymakers, health professionals, and social workers can use it to implement powerful health promotion initiatives.
Discussion: Personal Point of View
The ultimate goal of nursing is to transform the health experiences and lifestyles of every citizen. However, the existing social, economic, and health systems make it impossible for practitioners to achieve this objective. In Niagara country, different groups do not have access to exemplary medical services (McDonough, 2015). The number of nurses in the county is also low, thereby affecting the nature of services available to the targeted population. This complexity affects the mandate and objective of nursing. When individuals have unequal access to health services, it becomes hard for nurses to meet their needs. The profession of nursing should, therefore, be redesigned to mitigate such gaps.
Researchers in nursing advocate for better policies to support veterans, minority races, and women. They also focus on new models and systems that can ensure the disabled and the elderly have access to quality health services. In WNY, statistics indicate that around 20 percent of the population lacks adequate medical services (McDonough, 2015). Niagara County is affected by diseases that are associated with this disparity. For example, cancer claims around 181 persons in every 100,000 annually in the county (McDonough, 2015). Diabetes affects around 8.9 percent of the county’s citizens (McDonough, 2015). Mental health conditions affect 9.7 percent of the population. Around 9 percent of the population is composed of minority racial groups. This means that such groups face discrimination whenever looking for health care services.
Disproportionate access to medical services is one of the major disparities affecting New York’s healthcare sector. This discussion has revealed that minority groups, the elderly, disabled, and individuals with mental conditions lack adequate health services. Nurse practitioners must identify powerful models, influence new policies, and implement superior strategies to minimize these gaps. Such approaches will transform the situation and ensure more people have access to exemplary healthcare services.
Chen, J., Vargas-Bustamante, A., Mortensen, K., & Ortega, A. N. (2016). Racial and ethnic disparities in health care access and utilization under the Affordable Care Act. Medical Care, 54(2), 140-146. Web.
McDonough, J. (2015). Despite low state ranking, county health officials say region is making gains. Niagara Gazette. Web.
Noonan, A. S., Mondragon, H. E., & Wagner, F. A. (2016). Improving the health of African Americans in the USA: An overdue opportunity for social justice. Public Health Reviews, 37(12), 1-20. Web.
Sanchez, K., Ybarra, R., Chapa, T., & Martinez, O. N. (2016). Eliminating behavioral health disparities and improving outcomes for racial and ethnic minority populations. Psychiatric Services, 67, 13-15. Web.