| Black Americans are nearly three times as likely as whites to have experienced some form of discrimination by a doctor, other health care provider or their staff in the months leading up to and during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new report from the Urban Institute.
The report estimates that 10.6 percent of Black individuals faced such discrimination based on race, ethnicity, disability, gender, sexual orientation or health condition between September 2019 and September 2020, compared to 3.6 percent of whites and 4.5 percent of Hispanics.
The rates were even higher for Black women — 13.1 percent — and low-income Black individuals — 14.6 percent. Moreover, Black women were more than twice as likely as were Hispanic women (4.5 percent) or white women (5.2 percent) to say they experienced such discrimination. Low-income Blacks were also twice as likely to report discrimination as were low-income Hispanics (6.1 percent) or low-income whites (6.2 percent).
"Discrimination and unfair judgment in a health care setting can result in serious ramifications to health and have cumulative adverse effects on people's lives,” Dulce Gonzalez, a research associate at the Urban Institute, said in a statement.
Public Policy Changes Needed
The report suggests that health care providers need to be educated about this pattern of discrimination and taught to acknowledge and recognize racism and other forms of bias.