Do women in America have more difficulty than men accessing medical care? It appears the answer is YES! A recent national survey, more than half of women (52%) reported delaying or avoiding needed care because of cost, compared with 39% of men. The report also indicates that women face a higher financial burden from medical care than men. Nearly one-third of women aged 50 to 64 are in households that have spent more than 10% of their income on health care, compared with one quarter of men of similar age. Almost half of women report problems paying medical bills, compared with 36% of men, and one-third of women were forced to make a difficult tradeoff such as using up their savings, taking on debt, or giving up basic necessities.
Women’s reproductive health requires more regular contact with health care providers, including annual pap smears, mammograms, and obstetric care. Women are also more likely to report fair or poor health than men (9.5% versus 9.0%).
While rates of chronic conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure are similar to men, women are twice as likely to suffer from headaches, more likely to experience joint, back or neck pain, and more likely to suffer from psychological distress. These chronic conditions often require regular and frequent treatment and follow-up care.
These are alarming statistics and women should ensure fair representation and demand effective strategies to address the gaps as the nation moves forward with Health Reform.
Here is the link where you can read more about the survey results and the sources: http://www.healthreform.gov/reports/women/index.html
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