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Health Care for Blacks, Latinos Shows Decline

September 20, 1986|From United Press International

The quality of health care for Latinos and blacks in Los Angeles County has undergone a general decline as minorities fight to overcome continuing discrimination, a report issued Friday said.

The study by the county Commission on Human Relations also found that women are sometimes victims of a "unique form of medical care discrimination" by being subjected to potentially unnecessary surgery.

This is particularly the case with hysterectomies, which are performed "without benefit of information about alternatives," it said.

Minorities, Women

Based on a public hearing held in Westminster last February, the 24-page report said that the poor and the newly unemployed--categories composed largely of minorities and women--end up with poor health care because they can not afford private health insurance.

"Discriminatory practices which result in the denial of employment are, therefore, major contributors to the generally lower level of health care available" to minorities, the report concluded.

It also said that "a retreat from affirmative-action goals by many medical schools" has caused a shortage of doctors willing to work with the poor. This has "contributed to a general decline in the quality of care for the black and Latino populations."

Such patients normally end up in county health clinics and hospitals. The report did not address the quality of health care the poor receive from the county.

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