What are inequalities in health?
Health inequalities are influenced, avoidable differences in people’s health across society and between specific population groups.
With Black History Month just passed, recent research has highlighted inequalities within our healthcare system. This has led us to look at ways we can resolve any healthcare inequality.
The recent and current Covid-19 pandemic has also exposed inequalities, with noticeably higher case rates and death rates within certain BAME sections of the UK population, and highlighted the urgent need to strengthen action to prevent and manage ill health in deprived and ethnic minority communities. A governmental strategy is needed to reduce health inequalities (and the wider inequalities that drive them) and to address the diverse health needs of all groups at risk of poor health and high mortality as covered in this article: Most black people in the UK face discrimination from healthcare staff, survey finds 09/22.
The Importance of Setting Patients at Ease
When it comes to discussing your health with a professional, there can be a requirement to discuss personal, private, embarrassing, sad, or overwhelming issues that normally we may shy away from as it takes us right out of our comfort zone. It is difficult to talk over such topics sometimes even with people, family, or friends that are close to us, let alone a professional that we have never met before.
Do you perceive Discrimination or equality, impartiality, and fairness?
So, a woman may ask to speak with a female doctor or a man one-to-one with a male doctor, is there any discrimination in this? I don’t think so, we should be focused on (a) what the individual or patient needs (b) making it as easy as possible for them to reach through to a conclusion about their health, and (c) supporting them in their choice of whom they are most comfortable discussing things with. However, if you are a person of colour and you would rather liaise your health concerns with a doctor of colour is there an issue with this?
Discrimination can begin early in life and have life-long negative results. People of any creed or colour may subconsciously feel more comfortable with a person of the same creed or colour, simply because any visual or mental barriers formed in earlier life are one thing they don’t have to overcome when speaking to a doctor of the same race.
Common sense vs Discrimination
Regardless of ethnicity, Consultdoc is provided to support you and your health and has both black doctors and white doctors on their team. So many initial concerns in our current times are often lost amid the bureaucracy and politically correct way of how we should not offend. Whilst this is all required in its place, I believe in general, most of us just want to call a spade a spade and nothing more!
Can we learn something from the USA?
In the US, where 13.6% of the population is black or African American, the concept of black doctors for black people is widely accepted – see this Harvard article, Having a Black Doctor Led Black Men to Receive More-Effective Care.
Consultdoc is an online GP platform, whose goal is to make it as simple as possible for any individual to access the care they need, in the way they are most comfortable with.
Therefore it seemed common sense for Consultdoc to introduce a separate service to focus on the health of black people so that they can easily access their service without being discriminated against. This is the first step in their aim to help reduce or eliminate these health inequalities. Within their service options, by introducing the freedom of choice of a black person being able to speak with a black doctor to discuss their black health and wellness, this should also help to cover the UK population of black or black British which currently stands at just over 3%, should this be what they are most comfortable with in discussing their black health.
Consultdoc is a fully certified body, regulated by the CQC and whose aim is to provide affordable private primary care services to anyone, anywhere at any time. Interested to know more? See the full range of online doctor services, or view this video from Dr. Damilola Sogbesan, Consultdoc’s founder:
Health for all
All walks of life and again regardless of ethnicity deserve the same level of healthcare. Health for all. Consultdoc provides you with the same level of care and expertise as standard. Moreover, their online doctor consultation is ideal for those with limited mobility, parents juggling work and childcare, or employees finding it hard to get an appointment outside of work time.
Their service provides you with an appointment in the comfort of your own home (no waiting times or the need to find a lift to your surgery) and at a time you can choose that suits you (away from having to juggle your other commitments and responsibilities). Affordable, private primary care services are at your fingertips from a certified trusted, and regulated team of fully qualified doctors.
A concluding note from Dr. Damilola Sogbesan
“At Consultdoc, we aim to lead on equality diversity and inclusion in all that we do. Our team that includes people from all backgrounds including white and black doctors will ensure everyone is valued. We will do our best to promote equality and address any health inequalities that may arise such as addressing the current inequality in healthcare for black people.”