Medical School Professor and IHPI member Michelle Meade, addressed common health and health-care disparities and how to promote positive changes to the current health-care system for disabled people Wednesday night in Mason Hall on U-M's campus. The event, sponsored by the Interprofessional Health Student Organization, drew a crowd of about 20 students.
“The actual definition of disability or having a disability depends on where you look,” she said. “In surveys and research, it generally is defined by limitations; in some policy, it’s defined by a lack of ability to work and then in clinical practice, it’s diagnosis.”
As opposed to health disparities, which revolve around medical treatment and the burden of the illness, health-care disparities deal with how the disease is managed and what is done to assist those living with disability. Meade said those who are disabled have an equal amount of need for health care as non-disabled individuals, yet they do not get the treatment or health care they need.
“Despite having no differences in regards to aspects of health insurance or mutual care … you have increased need and decreased access (for the disabled),” she said.