A study led by researchers at Northwestern University in Chicago have found disparities in the health care of children of color compared to that of White children. The study compiled data from other recent studies regarding children’s health care in an effort to examine the health care received by children with health insurance across the United States.
The health care inequities between White children and children of color were found across a number of different medical circumstances. Compared to White children, children of color are more likely to receive complications after medical procedures, but less likely to receive pain medicine. Children of color are less likely to receive diagnostic imaging or diagnoses for developmental disabilities, therefore less likely to receive treatment for those disabilities as well. They are also more likely to experience longer wait times for emergency care.
As part of their analysis, the research team suggests the structural racism present in other sectors of the United States contributes to the inequities found in child health care. The study states “Policy changes within and beyond the health-care system are essential to address the root causes of treatment inequities and to promote equitable and excellent health for all children.”