Health Equity in New Orleans

There is an awesome post by Dr. Aaron Fox at the Social Medicine Portal highlighting how the two-tiered medical system in place in New Orleans before Katrina completely failed the poor of New Orleans, particularly those with chronic diseases.

In an early study of Katrina survivors, the impact of this impaired access to care is readily seen. 74% of the surveyed population reported a chronic health condition that preceded the disaster. Of this group, 21% needed to disrupt treatment due to barriers to care.

With more uninsured, and fewer sources of care for those without insurance, there was undoubtedly much avoidable suffering.

He continues his analysis,

The reason for health disparities by socioeconomic status or race in New Orleans is not limited to lack of health insuance, and insurance coverage alone without a strong primary care infrastructure would not have increased access to care, however, the two tiered health system that exists in Louisiana, and all across the United States, one that treats patients differently based on ability to pay, leaves a large percentage of the population at increased risk…

If we are going to build a healthy society in New Orleans, and across America, access to high quality affordable health care needs to be considered a right – not just charity.

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1 Response to “Health Equity in New Orleans”


  1. 1 Aaron February 18, 2009 at 8:45 am

    Thanks for your interest. I updated the post with links to the cited studies, and you can access for free the paper that you’ve quoted.


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Welcome to the Students for Global Health Equity (SGHE) blog. Published by university students, the SGHE blog seeks to explore news and issues related to global health.

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