This last weekday of National Public Health Week brings our attention to the theme of "Closing the Health Equity Gap." This is a crucial issue that we need to address if we want to achieve the goals of Healthy People 2030. One of the main ways to close this gap is by increasing access to healthcare for everyone, including people with disabilities and other marginalized groups. This can be done by improving physical accessibility to care, increasing availability of appropriate care, and building more inclusive public health programs. We all have a role to play in creating a healthier society for everyone!
What is the Health Equity Gap?
The health equity gap is the difference in health outcomes between different groups of people. In general, the gap refers to the fact that some groups of people have better health outcomes than others. This can be due to a variety of factors, including socioeconomic status, race/ethnicity, and gender. One of the most important ways to close the health equity gap is by increasing access to healthcare.
Accessibility Challenge for People Living with Disabilities
One of the most significant barriers to good health for people living with disabilities is lack of accessibility. This includes everything from inaccessible public transportation and sidewalks, to healthcare facilities that are not designed to meet their needs. According to a report by the National Council on Disability, 37% of adults with disabilities have been unable to access primary and regular preventive care due to cost.
We can work together to improve the health of people living with disabilities and other marginalized groups by reducing health disparities in health insurance, increasing physical accessibility to care, increasing availability of appropriate care, building more inclusive public health programs and promoting healthy living. This is not just an issue for people living with disabilities.
Accessibility Challenges in Communities
The historically redlined, urban communities where the residents are largely Black, Indigenous, and other minorities must be prioritized in efforts to combat climate change. Such areas have fewer green spaces, cooling centers, and clean air access, and they are more susceptible to climate gentrification. These disparities in access are compounded often for people living with disabilities living in rural areas face unique accessibility challenges. According to the National Council on Disability, “People with disabilities who live in rural areas have less access to public transportation, medical care, and social services than those who live in urban areas.” This lack of access can be attributed to a number of factors, including:
-Lack of public transportation
-Poorly maintained roads and sidewalks
-Lack of accessible medical facilities and providers
All of these factors can contribute to increased health disparities for people with disabilities living in rural areas. In order to address these disparities, it is important to increase access to public health services and programs in these communities. Addressing access to people living with disabilities online by creating an inclusive environment is also important.
We all have a role to play in creating a healthier society for everyone! By working together, we can make sure that everyone has the opportunity to live their best life possible. What will you do
There are many ways to increase access to healthcare, but some of the most effective include:
-Improving physical accessibility to care
-Providing close captioning/subtitles on all public health informational videos
-Making public health information available in multiple languages
-Creating more inclusive public health programs
-Promoting healthy living through education and outreach
Each of these methods can help reduce disparities in healthcare and improve overall public health. By working together, we can make sure that everyone has the opportunity to live a long and healthy life!
What can you do to help?
There are many things that you can do to help reduce health disparities in your community. One of the most important things you can do is to support public health initiatives that aim to improve access to healthcare. You can also help by volunteering your time or donating to organizations that work to close the health equity gap. Finally, you can spread the word about the importance of this issue and encourage others to take action!
No matter what you do, remember that we all have a role to play in creating a healthier society for everyone. By working together, we can make a difference! Join me over at Public Health Goals to connect and amplify health equity.
Join me over at Public Health Goals for more public health resources.
- Healthypeople.gov, "Access to Health Services"
- National Council on Disability, "Closing the Health Equity Gap: Promoting Inclusive Practices and Policies to Improve the Health of People with Disabilities"
- CDC, "Rural Access to Health Care"
- EPA, "Climate Change and Communities of Color"
- HUD, "Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity"
- US Department of Transportation, "Federal Transit Administration's Civil Rights Office"
- National Institutes of Health, "NIDILRR Grants for Research on Disability Rehabilitation and Recovery"
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Disability & Public Health: Understanding & Addressing Secondary Conditions Among People With Disabilities in Rural Areas" American Public Health Association,"Creating Healthy Places