About Health Disparities
What are health disparities?
Health disparities exists when one group of people get sick or die more often than another group.
For example in Florida:
- The cancer death rate is significantly higher in minorities
- Black babies are twice as likely to die than white babies
- Blacks makeup a disproportionate number of HIV/AIDS cases in Florida
- Tooth decay is the single most common chronic illness in children. Latino preschoolers have over twice the tooth decay as white children
See more minority health statistics
Why is addressing health disparities so important in Florida?
Health disparities are associated with unhealthy communities that contribute to increased healthcare costs for all Floridians. As Florida is a very culturally diverse state, failure
to address race and ethnic based health inequities and disparities may
The Florida Department of Health
monitors health disparities to reduce disease burden by identifying
high-risk groups, formulating appropriate health care policy, and
evaluating the state's progress in eliminating health disparities. The
Florida Office of Minority Health serves as a focal point for the state's
Why do health disparities exist?
According to the Institute of Medicine Report: Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial and Ethnic
Disparities in Health Care health disparities may persist because
of differences in access to medical care for racial and ethnic groups and differences in the quality of care received by racial and ethnic groups. Examples of problems can include:
- Lack of health insurance
- Lack of routine care
- Health Literacy and Language Barriers
- Provider Prejudices and Stereotyping
- Patient Mistrust and Refusal of Services
- Medically Underserved Communities
- Lack of Participation of Minorities in the Health Professions
What is Florida doing to address health disparities?
Office of Minority Health works to ensure that all of the divisions and
bureau's in the Department of Health are properly addressing minority health issues. The office also
directly oversees the Closing the Gap Program, State Partnership Program and Florida Healthy People 2020.