Appendices – Healthcare Disparities: Exploring Inequities Across the Spectrum

Introduction to Healthcare Disparities

Introduction to Healthcare Disparities

Lucy Ogoke

Although their names have been changed for privacy purposes, the narratives presented in this appendix are stories of real people in Canada, who have faced the consequences of health disparities – often at a critical point. Reading these narratives can help give you, the health care professional, some insight and changes that need to be made –  to do right by them.

These true stories are representations of how socio-economic disparities show up in healthcare in Canada and and their immediate affects on the lives of these individuals.  These disparities cause tremendous difficult to people who are in need of care resulting in lower quality care, in comparison to their more privileged counter parts.  In the long run,  these disparities place a huge strain on the healthcare system directly and on the economy, both directly in indirectly.

As a community we need to work hard to close the gaps in healthcare to make sure everyone is treated equally as it is both the right of the patient as a human being and the duty of every health care professional.

Although systematic change is required, we – as individuals – need to hold ourselves accountable and make changes in our daily lives that will positively impact disadvantaged communities. Becoming educated about this disparities through literature or person:person interaction is the first step to being able to make those changes. However,  it is also important to share and have discussions so the knowledge can be shared: to raise awareness about injustices allowing us to each be advocates for change.

As healthcare professionals one of most essential skills is to be able to be able to put yourselves in the shoes of your patients. This no longer means just symptomatically. Individual health is multifactorial with  stigma, biases and socioeconomic status as part of health and healthcare. Reading these narratives can help give you some insight into the struggles marginalized people in our society face.

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Pathology by Lucy Ogoke is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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