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Reproductive Health Care Disparities: Insights and Opportunities

[ Vol. 14 , Issue. 3 ]

Author(s):

Heba M. Eltoukhi, Ashley Vance, Michele Troutman and Ayman Al-hendy*   Pages 261 - 266 ( 6 )

Abstract:


Background: The three pillars of any health care system are cost, quality, and access to care. Health disparity is a deeply rooted problem shared amongst different ethnic groups in the United States. Differences in the incidence, prevalence, morbidity and mortality of diseases, however, vary widely among and between these groups. Frequent changes in health policies and insurance regulations directly influence access to care and can further increase existing disparities particularly for women and minority populations at greatest risk.

Objectives: The objective of this review is to examine existing disparities among women, and other at-risk populations, as they relate to access to care and current health policies.

Methods: Literature review we reviewed data from PUBmedusing PubMed and database search engine for the terms: disparity reproductive health, infertility, uterine fibroids, endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome, pelvic inflammatory disease, health policy, welfare reform and affordable care act.

Results: Disparities in health care among women and at-risk populations still persist. There is evidence to suggest that both the pathophysiology of disease and clinical outcomes may differ among different ethnic groups. Inequality in access to care increases this disparity.

Conclusion: Changes in health policy should reflect the population’s need to provide access to quality and affordable health care. In order to provide the best care possible for all women and atrisk populations, increased efforts needed to promote more research on determining barriers to medical care and the evaluation of their efficacy. Equally important is increasing access to proven diagnostic evaluations, as well as greater representation of diverse racial and ethnic groups in clinical studies. Inequities in health care access and quality of care can be addressed using targeted policy changes.

Keywords:

Disparity, reproductive healthcare policy, infertility, fibroids, endometriosis, gynecology.

Affiliation:

George Washington University, School of Public Health, Washington DC, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of California San Francisco, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Illinois, Chicago (UIC)

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