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How the Health Department Can Fight Against Discrimination


Staff member
Dec 14, 2023
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While an immense amount of progress has been made to promote inclusion over the years, unfortunately, discrimination still exists, and many people experience it on a consistent basis. Though this is the case in many areas, one field where there are ample opportunities to remedy this problem is healthcare.

Specifically, the Health Department has the power to promote inclusiveness and put an end to discriminatory practices and acts in the space. Understanding the ways that the Health Department can make a positive impact on this situation is key to gaining perspective on the ways that the healthcare space can be made more welcoming to all people.

Here is how the health department can fight against discrimination.

Keep Medical Institutions Accountable

While many medical institutions are progressive and inclusive in their practices, there are still facilities out there in which certain groups of people feel alienated and unwelcome. The health department has the power to make a difference by keeping these institutions accountable and requiring them to promote mental wellness in everyone by making spaces more inclusive.

Whether it’s discrimination among nurses, prejudices held toward patients, or any other illegitimate impression of people based on certain characteristics, none of these should have a home in healthcare.

Accordingly, the Health Department can have a significant impact on the well-being of scores of individuals and communities by keeping medical institutions accountable for these types of transgressions that can negatively impact people’s sense of mental wellness.

Incentivize DEI Committees in Organizations

Typically, the Health Department is responsible for things such as health inspections and offering medical services. In essence, their aim is to ensure the good health of the public. By incentivizing organizations to become DEI — diversity, equity, and inclusion — driven, the Health Department can improve the emotional experience of scores of individuals.

To ensure that organizations are promoting inclusion, the Health Department should incentivize organizations to have a DEI committee that ensures that there is no discrimination in an organization. If the health department were to offer special certifications and awards to organizations that had a DEI committee, more organizations would engage in the practice and create more inclusive workspaces.

Actively Addressing and Preventing Health Disparities in Communities

Though the United States of America has made a significant amount of progress in its social attitudes and practices, the legacy of racial injustice still lives on in the health outcomes of certain communities. Throughout the country, many communities face higher rates of negative health outcomes as opposed to the rest of the nation due to a number of factors.

In order to ensure that the entire public is experiencing the same level of good health, it’s imperative that the Health Department actively addresses and prevents health disparities in these communities. Whether that’s by offering more services or championing non-profits that offer resources to individuals from these communities, the Health Department has a chance to fight discrimination by focusing on and working to solve this issue.

Making It Easier for Both Medical Professionals and Patients to Report Instances of Discrimination

While there are avenues out there for individuals to report instances of discrimination to the authorities — such as the Health Department — the process still remains convoluted and difficult. The health department can help hold individuals and organizations accountable for discriminatory attitudes, actions, and practices by simplifying the process for reporting these instances.

By holding more people accountable for discrimination, healthcare will become a more welcoming place that promotes a greater sense of well-being in individuals and doesn’t cause unnecessary stress. As such, the Health Department has a real opportunity to fight discrimination by making it easier for people to report instances of it.

The Health Department Needs to Take Action

Discrimination can take a huge toll on one’s mental health. Accordingly, it’s the health department’s responsibility to do everything in its power to stop it in order to optimize the health of the public at large.

By keeping medical institutions accountable, incentivizing DEI committees in organizations, actively addressing and preventing health disparities in certain communities, and making it easier for both medical professionals and patients to report instances of discrimination, the Health Department has the chance to effectively combat discrimination and promote inclusivity.

While there is still room for improvement, many initiatives have begun to fervently fight for justice and inclusion in healthcare. Hopefully, these initiatives will gain more steam over the next several years and inspire the Health Department to take up arms in the fight against discrimination.

Photo Credit

Image by Anemone123 from Pixabay

Guest Author Bio
Sarah Daren

With a Bachelor’s in Health Science along with an MBA, Sarah Daren has a wealth of knowledge within both the health and business sectors. Her expertise in scaling and identifying ways tech can improve the lives of others has led Sarah to be a consultant for a number of startup businesses, most prominently in the wellness industry, wearable technology and health education. She implements her health knowledge into every aspect of her life with a focus on making America a healthier and safer place for future generations to come.
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