Discrimination involves treating a particular group of people with more favor than others. It can involve certain factors such as gender, age, race, and background, among many others. In the healthcare sector, discrimination has not ceased to exist. Various people have, at one time, been subject to discrimination in the access to health care services (Srivastava, 2007). A good example involves HIV/AIDS patients. In many cases, HIV/AIDS victims tend to receive more attention than other patients. Although it might sound to be an ethical issue, it might seem to be an unfair act towards other patients who seek healthcare services. This paper will discuss a number of illegal forms of discrimination in the healthcare sector (Davis, 2012).In addition, it will discuss discrimination on the basis of culture and religion in the healthcare sector, as well as the contemporary interventions involved.
One instance of discrimination in the healthcare sector entails attending to patients who are from a better financial background (Davis, 2012). This case often involves the use of money and other material benefits to receiving prompt and quick services. In most cases, people from rich and able financial backgrounds will bribe the healthcare attendants to serve them first. Such a case would mean that those from poor families will be discriminated against during the provision of these services(Davis, 2012).
Another basis of illegal discrimination in the healthcare sector is race. Some healthcare service providers tend to favor people from their race. This situation implies that those from other races will receive the services last. It is illegal for any person to discriminate against others on the basis of their race, not only in the healthcare sector but in every aspect of life.
Culture is one of the most controversial factors that lead to discrimination in the health care sector. In many cases, health care service providers prefer serving people whose cultures tend to be similar to theirs. This case implies that patients from other different cultures may not receive the best services when they happen to meet such healthcare attendants. Another case where culture may lead to discrimination entails following certain cultural norms that limit the provision of certain services (Srivastava, 2007). For instance, certain African cultures do not require the circumcision of males. Thus, people from such cultures will be discriminated against in case they seek circumcision services from certain health care centers.
Religion also forms another important aspect of discrimination in the healthcare sector. Some healthcare centers are formed under the authority of particular religions and denominations. A good example is catholic based healthcare centers. The implication of such situations is that the centers tend to limit their services to a particular group’s religion. Although they may not deny serving patients from other religions, the fact remains that the type and quality of services given will not be the same (Williams, 2007). Thus, the true definition of discrimination will be manifested in this case.
In the health care sector, socialization may also form a basis of discrimination. Health care attendants will tend to help out those that they normally socialize within society. Culture may also be integrated into this case for the purpose of defining the discrimination involved(Williams, 2007). Some people will opt to seek the services of folk healers instead of modern healthcare services.
For this case, there ought to be a number of ways to limit the occurrence of instances that lead to discrimination. For instance, it is important to comply with laws that prohibit discrimination of any kind in healthcare and other sectors. Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 can an example of a law that protects people from any form of discrimination (Srivastava, 2007). Thus, society has the responsibility to comply with these laws for the sake of the people.
Davis, J. B. (2012). Social economics of health care: Routledge.
Srivastava, R. (2007). The Healthcare Professional’s guide to clinical, cultural competence. Toronto: Elsevier Health Sciences.
Williams, R. A. (2007). Eliminating Healthcare Disparities in America: Beyond the IOM report: Springer Science & Business Media.