"Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane." - Martin Luther King at a Convention of the Medical Committee for Human Rights held in Chicago in March 1966. In the Institute of Medicine report “Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century” published in 2001, it is stated that a healthcare system should provide “care that does not vary in quality because of personal characteristics such as gender, ethnicity, geographic location, and socioeconomic status”.
There still exists countries where health systems put a price on care that the patient must pay at the point of service. In the United States, for example, many must purchase care with personal resources. As a result, health care competes with the necessities of life like food and clothing.
Healthcare quality outcomes in the US exist at both the national and the local level. In 2006, it was noted that a woman who lives in the South Bronx region of New York City, where the population is 95% Black or Hispanic, and very low income, has a 20 times greater chance of dying of the complications of diabetes than a woman living in the higher income Upper East Side of Manhattan. Today, at an international level and even though the US spends more on healthcare than any other nation, Americans live shorter lives and experience more injuries and illnesses than people in 16 other high-income countries, including Australia, Canada, Japan, and many western European countries. See: http://www.examiner.com/article/us-health-compared-internationally-shorter-lives-poorer-health
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