MINORITY HEALTH I: Lingering Beliefs Block Quality Care
"[E]thnic minorities are less likely than whites to be fully enfranchised into the health care system even when they have medical insurance equivalent to that of whites," according to a new study by the Morehouse School of Medicine. Dr. Louis Sullivan, president of Morehouse Medical School and former HHS Secretary, said, "There is a widespread perception we all have the same access to health services. But when we get sick we are very different." The study also found many "malingering beliefs" -- including folklore and cultural beliefs -- among members of minority communities that may be "detrimental to health," Newsday reports. For instance, "African Americans were the least likely to believe that generic drugs are as good as name-brand medications," and "[m]ore then one-third ... surveyed who took a prescription medication did not take it as directed." Hispanics were found to be the most reliant on "folk remedies," and the "least likely to get medical information from doctors, nurses, pharmacists and medical newsletters." Hispanics were also "more likely to self-treat with over-the-counter medications" (Ricks, 4/28).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.