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A new study reveals racial disparities in pediatric care

On Behalf of | Mar 18, 2024 | Medical Malpractice

A study published in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health journal saw researchers comb through many studies to determine the quality of care children receive. What this study found is something that should shock any Idaho parent. This study aimed to determine the quality of care children receive in pediatric settings based on their race and ethnic backgrounds.

Disparities among white vs. non-white children

One of the major findings uncovered was that white children often receive better care than Black Americans, Latinx, and Asian American kids. White children often have the option of painkillers as they recover from conditions such as migraines or after surgery while non-white children often don’t. Unfortunately, the disparities in care don’t end there.

The same research mentioned that non-white children also typically face longer wait times in emergency care facilities. They’re also less likely to receive a diagnosis and treatment for a potential developmental disability. Non-white children are also more likely to experience complications during and after certain surgical procedures.

Why do these disparities exist?

Understandably, researchers wanted to find out the reasoning behind this disturbing data. Many feel that structural racism, unconscious bias and disparate policing are the main reasons why this problem is happening. Resolving this problematic situation can help healthcare facilities avoid going through medical malpractice claims brought on by angry parents. One thing that wasn’t a factor in this study was insurance. All children in this study were insured.

Experts are calling on medical professionals in all areas of this field to take a closer look at their policies and how they treat patients of all ethnicities and backgrounds. However, these same people also note that sweeping policy changes will be necessary to begin tackling this issue.