Those with disabilities suffer from unmet healthcare throughout their lives. This should be recognized as a health disparity issue among those with disabilities.
Health disparities include:
- Inequities in education – dropping out of school is linked to a myriad of health issues. Individuals with little to no education risk obesity, drug addiction and self-harm or harming others.
- Genetic Differences – one population suffers more health issues than another.
- Social injustice – where there is little to no care for a certain population of people.
- Race and ethnicity – a certain race is excluded from health benefits due to unemployment.
People with significant disabilities make up a considerable amount of the population. By reducing preventable diseases in this population, there would be an improvement in the quality of life and reduced healthcare costs.
Adults with disabilities who skip or delay healthcare are likely to struggle with poor health due to not being able to afford healthcare for chronic conditions.
researchers suggest that by acknowledging people with disabilities as a health disparity group may lead to:
- Improved access to healthcare and services
- increased data on disabled, helping with policy making
- Increase in health care providers training and strengthening care for disabled people
- Improved emergency preparation in disaster-stricken areas
- Creation of health promotion materials
- weight loss programmes
- smoking cessation assistance
Gloria Krahn of Oregon State University says that:
“To say that disability is a health disparity will mark a significant shift in approach toward healthcare of people with disabilities. It would influence public health practice, research, and policy.”