The issue of health disparities among societies is not uncommon to all. There are many individuals who are so privileged with regards to heath care, but there are some who are not. Even centuries ago, inequality among people regarding public health and other services needed to be addressed. In a commentary to article written by Zambrana and Porkas, they noted that interest to understanding such differences led to intense attention to the association of health disparities with gender, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic position (SEP), and culture (Zambrana & Porkas, 2010, p. 18). In line with this concern, a research was conducted to look deeper into the cause of health care disparities among the Latinos.
The acculturation research is rooted in the study of individuals who immigrated to United States and the evaluation of the response of the new immigrants to the host culture (Zambrana & Porkas, 2010, p. 18). As it suggests that new immigrants in a particular country are not likely to have the same advantages as those who lived long in it (unless these immigrants become legal citizens in time). Researchers consider culture to be the major contributor of health inequality in the Latinos. For example, in some countries, those who do not share the same beliefs with the majority of people there, had much difficulty in life. However, this position of the acculturation research considering culture as the sole cause of health disparities among the Latinos is not adequate. Many critiques say that the research lack clear definitions, leading to insufficient generalizations regarding the Latinos (Zambrana & Porkas, 2010, p. 19). Many reviews suggest that acculturation needs to be associated with the socioeconomic position. This position shows that low economic status of people prevents them from having higher advantages in their living. Statistics made by the US Census Bureau in 2007 shows the differences in living condition between Latinos and Non- Latino Whites. It records that 39.4% of Latinos but only 10.6% of non-Latinos aging 25 years and above have a high school degree; total per capita income of Latinos is less than half that of non-Latino White; Latinos are more likely to be unemployed than the non-Latinos White; and Latinos are three times as likely as non-Latinos White to lack health insurance (Zambrana & Porkas, 2010, p.20). Low socioeconomic status of Latinos seems to be another great barrier to them from having good and sufficient health care.
Another factor that causes health disparity among people is racial differences. The American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) has identified race, ethnicity, and culture in a part of the education and training of medical students and professionals in cultural competency and health disparities (Zambrana & Porkas, 2010, p. 21). For example, in areas of black people, white people are more likely to experience deficient health care or to have lower educational privileges.
As concluded in the article, residence in low-resource communities, low SEP, differing cultural identities, and unequal treatment in institutions contribute to health disparities. Such evidences and realities should also be implied to nursing care of every individual – not just of the Latinos. Like what American Public Health Association has proposed, every government-owned or private hospital should include raising income for public protection of health; an increase in number of public health workers and professional, and expanding their roles; increase in monitoring, assessing, and recording of health care status of public communities; and making of necessary actions for further research and developed treatment for better health care. The public health sector of every society must have its focus and objective. Sufficient health privileges should be granted generously regardless of an individuals’ culture, socioeconomic status, educational attainment, race or even gender.
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