Closing the Gap in Hospitals
Nearly a decade ago, the United States Congress asked the Institute of Medicine to investigate racial disparities in health care services.Â The IOM's conclusion:Â "U.S. racial and ethnic minorities are less likely to receive even routine medical procedures and experience a lower quality of health services."Â
It's something cardiologist Winston Gandy has seen first hand.Â
"So white men receive therapy for the same exact medical presentation more often than women, than hispanics, than african-americans," Dr. Gandy said.Â
Dr. Gandy leads a group called "Close the Gap" that is trying to better educate doctors and patients about health care disparities.Â
"Really, what we want is everyone to receive therapy when it's indicated 100% of the time, regardless of race, culture, religion, sex," said Dr. Gandy.
He says he can't fully explain the reasons behind the discrepancies, but he and others are trying to change the trend by talking to doctors and better educating patients, by giving them tools such as a list of questions to ask.Â Dr. Gandy admits closing the gap in health care disparities is a slow process, but his group is making progress.Â
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