Minority Groups Suffer Worse Health Outcomes Than Rest Of Population, Report Says

“Minority groups suffer worse health outcomes than the rest of the population, according to a new report published by Minority Rights Group International (MRG)” last week, IRIN reports. The report, “State of the World’s Minorities and Indigenous Peoples 2013, released to coincide with the U.N. General Assembly meeting on the post-Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) agenda, calls for — among other things — greater measures to combat disparities in global health outcomes between minority groups and majority communities,” the news service writes. “‘The MDGs have resulted in much that is good. But one of the fundamental flaws with them has been the lack of a right or equity perspective,’ said Carl Soderbergh, MRG’s policy and communications director,” the news service notes.

“Minority and indigenous communities often are marginalized from all aspects of life in their countries,” he added, according to IRIN. “Soderbergh says that the fields of maternal care, child health and mental health are particularly vulnerable to disparities,” the news service adds. “According to the report, lack of access to health care and systemic patterns of discrimination are major causal factors” and, “[f]or minority indigenous groups, the fight for ownership and access to traditional lands and the right to health are deeply intertwined,” the news service writes. “Soderbergh believes that there are simple solutions that can improve the health care services of minority groups,” such as keeping user fees at a minimum, “getting timely data that is disaggregated by ethnicity,” and investing in infrastructure to improve access to care, IRIN notes (10/1).