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Minorities have longer wait times at hospital than whites

Minorities have longer wait times at hospital than whites

Patients from minorities wait, on average, 25 percent longer to get treatment at a hospital than whites.

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The access and the quality of the health care in America may be strongly linked to two main factors: your income and your race. The color of your skin — or the ethnic group you belong to — can influence how long you wait to be seen by a doctor.

According to a new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, minorities wait, on average, 25 percent longer to get treatment at hospitals than white Americans.

The average wait time for white Americans is 80 minutes, while for African Americans it is 99 minutes and for Latinos is 110 minutes.

The difference is not that marked, however,  in terms of the time they spend with the doctor. The average is 20 minutes (20.4 for white Americans, 20.5 for African Americans and 19.9 for Latinos).

What accounts for the difference? The study suggests that people from minorities spend more time interacting with the medical system or traveling to the appointment. But according to the authors: "It does not change the underlying implication that disparities in timeliness to obtaining care exist for more vulnerable patient populations. This study characterizes a problem we all know to exist,” the study authors said in a statement to the Washington Post. 

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