Racism in the Medical Industry

Discrimination in the medical industry has been a prominent issue for a long time now. Since the pandemic has started, a light has been cast upon racial inequities, which has become an even more serious issue due to Covid-19. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), minority groups such as people of color are being most strongly affected by Covid-19 due to the social determining factors of health such as healthcare access and poverty. According to a study found by the National Urban League, African Americans and Latinos are four times more likely than white people to be hospitalized for COVID-19. These minority groups are more at risk and yet have less access to healthcare. Social, economic and household conditions also come into play. Minorities are most likely to experience overcrowding, deprivation, and illnesses from underlying health issues. A poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation shows that one in six African American adults has experienced unjust treatment while getting healthcare treatment. People of color are more likely to die of Covid. According to an article by Stat News, “Black Americans have been dying at about 2.4 times the rate of white Americans.” This is an example of systematic racism, which should be deemed a public health crisis. In addition, minority groups are more likely to have the front-line jobs like construction workers, truck drivers, and janitors. These are high risk jobs where workers are most vulnerable to getting sick. African Americans aren’t the only ones suffering. Immigrants are living in fear. Many can’t even get treatment for Covid due to the ever increasing fear of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) activity in their communities, afraid that the healthcare staff will share their current legal status. Furthermore, policies such as the “public charge” rule penalize immigrants and make it harder for them to alter their legal status making it difficult for them to obtain a :green card.”Millions of undocumented immigrants don’t have healthcare insurance or social security and one of the main reasons for that is due to low wage occupations. Many immigrants are underpaid, with no sick leave and don’t receive the quality medical care they deserve. 

Racism in the medical field is a major issue and a difference needs to be made. How many more deaths will it take for everyone to realize we urgently need to make a change?