Illinois Latinos, Blacks Experiencing High Health Disparities

By Jorge Rivas Apr 08, 2009

via New America Media CHICAGO — More than half the whites in Illinois consider themselves in excellent health, compared with 42.9% of African Americans and only 28.4% of Latinos. Meanwhile, 84.7% of whites have a primary health provider, compared with 77.3% of African Americans and 62.9% of Latinos, and the percentages are almost the same when it comes to access to health insurance, reports La Raza. The figures are from McKenzie Smith, director of the Commission to Eliminate Disparities in Health Care at University of Illinois, Chicago who, along with other experts at a recent Illinois summit on health care disparities, presented information that Latinos and Blacks are suffering from disparities in treatment for HIV, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, drug addiction and mental health problems. Presenters claimed Latinos and blacks receive lower quality care and are less engaged in routine medical procedures than whites. Another point addressed was the need to demand accountability from the authorities and fair distribution of funds for black and Latino communities.