Academic Leadership Journal


Healthcare inequality or healthcare disparity refers to the differences in the quality of health and health care across different populations. This may include differences in the prevalence of disease, health outcomes, or access to health care across racial, ethnic, gender, and socioeconomic groups. Differences among populations in the presence of disease and health outcomes are well documented in many areas. In the United States, disparities are well documented in minority populations such as African Americans, Native Americans, Asian Americans, and Latinos, with these groups having higher incidence of chronic diseases, higher mortality, and poorer overall health outcomes. For example, the cancer incidence rate among African Americans is 10% higher than among whites, and adult African Americans and Latinos have approximately twice the risk as whites for developing diabetes. Similarly, disparities in the overall level of health in individuals also exist between differing socioeconomic groups, with lower-status socioeconomic groups generally having poorer health and higher rates of chronic illness including obesity, diabetes, and hypertension. Those in lower socioeconomic status groups receive less consistent primary care, which is positively correlated to overall level of health in the recipient. Similarly, in England, people living in deprived areas were found to receive around 70% less provision relative to need compared with the most affluent areas for both knee and hip replacements.