Disabled Americans face discrimination when seeking care: Survey

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New York, Oct 9 (IANS) Over 30 years since the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), some doctors harbour biases toward people with disabilities, and even actively avoid accepting them as patients, a new study has found.

In focus group discussions with about two dozen US doctors, researchers found that many said they lacked the knowledge and skill to care for patients with disabilities. Even basic physical accommodations, like accessible buildings and medical equipment, were an issue.

While some doctors said they did the best they could, others expressed negative attitudes, saying that patients with disabilities were “entitled”, or that providing care to them was a burden, said US News & World Report in its report of the study.

Additionally, those surveyed insisted that this is a systemic problem, as medical school and post-graduate training do not prepare doctors for meeting the needs of patients with disabilities.

Another broad problem is insurance reimbursement, which does not factor in the longer appointments that are often necessary for patients with more complex needs, according to the findings published in the October issue of the journal Health Affairs.



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