Using the Mass.gov website for health and human services, I collected information on who could not see a doctor due to cost. The units of analysis and comparison are those who are White, Black, and Latino. The regions I looked at were Hudson and Plymouth Massachusetts as well as the total numbers in Massachusetts as a whole. The information on this topic was not available through individual towns and information on access to health for these three units were only made available through a larger regional comparison. Hudson, Massachusetts is a part of the Metro West Middlesex County (CHNA 7: Community Health Coalition of Metro West) and the numbers posted here represent that entire region. Plymouth, Massachusetts is a part of Plymouth County (CHNA 23: South Shore CHN) and those numbers are also representative of the entire region. Confidence intervals have been added to see if there exists any statistically significant variance between units and regions of analysis.
|Percentage of Adults who Could Not See a Doctor Due to Cost|
|Hudson CHNA 7||Plymouth CHNA 23||Massachusetts|
|White(C.I. 95%)||5.1(3.7 – 6.5)||7.3(4.6 – 9.9)||6.3(6 – 6.7)|
|Black(C.I. 95%)||1.3(0 – 3.9)||Not Available||13.6(11.5 – 15.6)|
|Latino(C.I. 95%)||26.5(14.4 – 38.7)||28(0 – 61.4)||17.1(15.3 – 19)|
My last regional comparison between races was based on income. This assessment was done to compliment those findings. If there exists a disparity in income between races, then it can be assumed that access to health would also be unequal. Based on the following information, that assumption is correct. Looking at Hudson (CHNA 7) we can see a statistically significant difference between Whites who did not have access to health care due to cost and Latinos. 5.1% of Whites did not have access compared to 26.5% of Latinos. Blacks only had 1.3% who did not have access, however this is more than likely due to an inadequate amount surveyed or there simply is a Black population too small for analysis in that area. In Plymouth, 7.3 % of Whites did not have access to health care due to cost compared to 28% of Latinos. While this does show a difference, based on the confidence intervals, this is not a statistically significant difference. No information was available for Blacks. Looking at Massachusetts as a whole, there are statistically significant variations between the units of analysis. 6.3% of Whites did not have access to health care due to cost compared to 13.6 percent of Blacks and 17.1% of Latinos. While there is also a gap between the percentages of the two minority groups who did not have access to health care, based on the confidence intervals, the difference is not statistically significant. The most significance can found comparing the White group to either minority groups.
Access to health care is something that should be available to everybody despite race, creed, or religion. According to the data, it is not. This is evidence of the existence of institutional racism. Income is not dispersed evenly across races, which has secondary and tertiary effects on the disadvantaged populations. Lack of access to health care is but one of the many outcomes of this problem.