Health Equity for People with Disabilities

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According to the World Health Organization, approximately 1.3 billion people worldwide live with disabilities, making disabled persons the largest minority group in the world. Despite this ubiquity, people with disabilities often experience difficulties accessing appropriate and necessary healthcare. Many health inequities experienced by the disabled community are caused by outdated views on disability as a problem to be solved rather than a condition to be managed or a state of being that is unrelated to the healthcare a patient may seek.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention points out that the 61 million Americans with disabilities often struggle to access quality healthcare, leading to poor health outcomes and decreased quality of life. These health outcomes include higher rates of depression and anxiety, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Many disabled patients also face stigmas and ableism when seeking medical advice, leading to frustration and distrust of the medical system. Health disparities in the disabled community frequently stem from a lack of accessible options, such as large-print forms, wheelchair ramps, or providers and healthcare staff who lack training in treating people with disabilities.

Molecular Testing Labs has put accessibility and inclusion at the forefront of our business model. We have made it our business to bridge gaps in care experienced by those in underserved and underrepresented communities. With our self-collection kits and top-of-the-line technology, we have made it possible for disabled patients to access diagnostic services more efficiently by empowering patients to take part in their healthcare. Collecting samples in the privacy of their own homes, with proper space, accessibility, and comfort, allows disabled patients to participate in the healthcare system without the stress of facing ableist policies and uncomfortable spaces.

While we have focused on highlighting health equity and health disparities in our blogs this month, it is essential to continue this conversation year-round. Please help us keep this discussion at the forefront of healthcare and legislation by sharing this post on social media.

 

 

References

  1. World Health Organization. (2022, December 2). World Health Organization.int. https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/9789240063600
  2. Swenor, B.K. (2021). Including disability in all health equity efforts: an urgent call to action. The Lancet, 6(6). E359-E360. https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanpub/article/PIIS2468-2667(21)00115-8/fulltext
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022, September 23). Health Equity for People with Disabilities. gov. https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/humandevelopment/health-equity.html
  4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022, July 20). People with Disabilities. gov. https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/humandevelopment/covid-19/people-with-disabilities.html

About the Author: Christie Carlson