African-Americans and the Hispanic Population
There are factors that affect the health of a particular group. Analyzing these groups is essential to determine the policy or technique that can be employed to ensure that a specified group of people receives quality health care at an economical cost. One of the factors that are limiting the access to quality medical care is the lack of insurance among most of the citizens, especially the minority groups. The minority groups receive wages and salaries that they cannot use to pay insurance, thus making it hard for them to access the healthcare facilities. To deal with this vice, the government has enacted the Affordable Care Act that will enable most people to access medical facilities and will make it easy for individuals to own insurance. However, it is evident other factors influence the health of the minority groups in the United States. With a focus on the information about the Hispanic and the African-American groups were taken from OMH (n.d.), the following chart provides a detailed analysis and comparison of the two minority groups. Furthermore, the chart offers an understanding of various factors that affect the quality of health care services among minority groups. The following chart provides a summary of the various factors that influence the health of the minority group.
The Hispanic Population
African-Americans constitute the second-largest minority group in the United States. In 2012, the total population of African-Americans was 43.1 million people. They mostly reside in the southern states of the country, for instance, Florida, Texas, and New York.
It comprises the people of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, and South or Central American origin. In 2012, the Hispanic population was 53 million people, representing 17% of the U.S population.
For African-Americans, the strong family relationship is essential when one is ailing. They also believe in treatment since they have been using traditional medicine from plants for a long time. Additionally, this minority group prefers eating their traditional vegetables, which grow mostly in the southern part of North America.
The diet of the Hispanic population is poor, which makes them prone to food-related diseases, such as diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases.
Religious and Spiritual Beliefs
They have a strong belief in the church and maintain a close relationship with the members of their church. Most of them are Pentecostal Christians.
The majority of the Hispanic population is Catholic. Some of them believe that sicknesses are sent as a punishment. As a result, most of them will not go to hospitals when they are sick. Moreover, most of them are against modern medicine.
Primary Insurance Coverage
50.4% of African Americans have private medical insurance while 40.6% rely on Medicaid public health insurance. 29.3% of the population does not have medical insurance.
This population has the highest rate of uninsured persons compared to other minority groups in the United States. Those without health insurance are 31.6% Mexicans, 14.1% Puerto Ricans, and 23.8% Cubans. This amounts to 29% of individuals who are not covered by insurance among the Hispanic population.
There is an increase in the number of Black American women who are pursuing education as compared to male individuals. As per 2012, 20% of the African-Americans had earned a bachelor’s degree.
About 64% of the Hispanic population has a high school diploma and 13.8% have a bachelor’s degree or higher. Even though the percentage of those with a bachelor’s degree is significantly small, the change that has taken place over the years in terms of Hispanic education is significant.
The common medical condition that is evident among Black Americans is the high rate of HIV/AIDS, which can be attributed to their low level of literacy and cultural practices.
The health of the Hispanic population is greatly affected by cultural and language barriers and the lack of access to preventive care and health care insurance. This population is prone to heart diseases, cancer, unintentional injuries, stroke, and diabetes. HIV is also a major concern for this minority group because they have minimal access to preventive care of diseases.
Various efforts have been initiated to ensure that Black Americans receive quality health care, including the use of public lectures to educate them about their health, specifically concerning HIV/AIDS. Cultural competent skills have also been introduced to the physicians who are practicing in the area largely populated by African-Americans to consider their cultural beliefs while offering quality healthcare services.
There have been efforts to ensure that the Hispanic population’s access to healthcare facilities is improved. The main approaches included incorporating health education in the syllabus to encourage people from this ethnic group to pay for affordable healthcare insurance. Furthermore, the construction of health facilities near the regions where the Hispanic population resides has been initiated to ensure that they have access to quality healthcare services.
From the chart, it is evident that African-American and Hispanic minority groups have some similarities. The first similarity is the inability of acquiring health insurance. The lack of health insurance among this community is based on their poor wages and salaries, which do not allow them to afford the subscription to even public insurance. Due to poverty, the number of minority population members who have no medical insurance is higher compared to whites. Nevertheless, it is evident that the Hispanic group has the highest number of uninsured persons compared to Black Americans. However, the difference between the two figures is 3%, which shows that the difference might be a result of the fact that the Hispanic population is bigger compared to that of the African-Americans (Swanson & Nies, 1997).
Furthermore, the two minority groups have strong religious and spiritual beliefs. This strong belief influences their perception of diseases and medication. However, it is evident that the Hispanic minority group has a strong cultural belief that is more likely to interfere with access to modern health care. In particular, the Hispanic population believes that some diseases are sent to people as a punishment and thus they cannot be treated even with modern medication. The strong attachment that the Hispanic population has towards its culture and belief system is one of the factors that is directly affecting their health. It is evident that most of them will not seek medical attention because they believe that the disease is a curse, which cannot be cured by modern medication (Swanson & Nies, 1997). The culture of Black Americans is likely to affect their health positively. For instance, the belief in medication to cure diseases is a positive aspect, which encourages most of the African-Americans to seek medical assistance when they feel ill.
Based on culture, it is obvious that the Black Americans’ diet contributes to their health in a positive way, unlike the Hispanic population. The African-American population prefers vegetables from the south part of America. Vegetables have more positive than adverse health effects, thus contributing to the well-being of this minority group. On the other hand, the Hispanic population has a culture, which prefers fatty foods. Most of their meals are full of oils, which negatively contributes to their health. Consuming food that contains oils and sugar has increased the incidence rate of diabetes and cardiovascular disease among the Hispanic minority group.
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The level of education in the two minority groups is low, which also appears to be a contributing factor when it comes to preventive care, specifically preventive care for HIV/AIDS. HIV/AIDs is prevalent in the two groups because of the lack of education and access to health facilities where they can receive advice regarding the prevention of HIV/AIDS. Language barriers also negatively affect the Hispanic community, as it prevents most of them from receiving quality health care services when they go to the hospital.
Apart from those factors that negatively affect the health of the minority groups, it is evident that some factors enhance their healthy life, for instance, the family ties that are important for a patient’s recovery. It is also obvious that Black Americans believe in both traditional and modern medicine. These characteristics are essential in enhancing specific group health.
To address different factors that affect the health of the selected two groups, cultural proficiency and competency among the medical workers should be encouraged. Cultural proficiency does not only focus on the communication between people from different cultures but also makes a person be in a position to understand the beliefs of a patient and offer treatment that is customized to meet the exact needs of the patient. Lastly, the health care department makes great efforts to ensure that all citizens are capable of accessing healthcare facilities, which is evident by the enactment of the Affordable Care Act and the creation of healthcare facilities in places where these communities form the major population. Taking medical facilities close to their locations will enable them to access medical advice concerning different factors that affect their health. For instance, the Hispanic population can get advice concerning a diet, which is positively affecting the population while the Black Americans will be taught about the importance of their green vegetables to their health.