Press release: New multinational data report on health equity – a call-to-action

Data shows six out of 10 global respondents experience discrimination when seeking healthcare and nearly 80% report a lack of trust in the healthcare system

Amstelveen, September 12, 2023 – A new global health equity data report released today by Omnicom PR Group (OPRG) finds widespread lack of trust in healthcare systems among non-white, LGBTQAI+ and immigrant communities and that a clear majority report experiencing explicit discrimination when seeking healthcare. Though the Netherlands is not a country for which the healthcare system was assessed, the results of this report provide relevant and insightful results that we take into account for the work we do with our European clients.

The Intersection of Health Equity in Communities & Business Strategy: A Call-to-Action is a comprehensive examination of the lived experiences of people in diverse communities when accessing healthcare in the U.S., U.K., Germany and Spain. Part of an OPRG initiative launched in 2022 to enlist business and community leaders to find ways to address health inequities, the report is based on a survey of 6,000 individuals assessing experiences with discrimination, trust in healthcare systems, the use of digital technology to access healthcare information, the role of trusted community members in health education, and engagement in health with emotional intelligence and connection.

Eye-opening statistics and important insights

Survey data shows that 62% of all respondents report experiencing explicit discrimination when seeking healthcare and 77% reported a lack of trust in health systems. Four in 10 respondents seek healthcare information from individuals outside a healthcare provider’s office, and 70% seek healthcare information online. The data also shows that explicit discrimination, lack of trust and the digital divide are more pronounced among non-white, LGBTQAI+ and immigrant communities.

Our robust communities data unearths eye-opening statistics and vital individual insights that break data silos to look through the lens of health inequalities from those who experience it,” says Paul George, Global Health Lead, Omnicom PR Group (OPRG). “The report demonstrates the extent of the problems on a global scale as well as specific challenges facing individual communities and countries. This data will inform academic curricular, intersectoral initiatives and business strategies that help advance health equity.

Most remarkable results

A couple of remarkable results from the full report:

  • U.S. respondents were 13% more likely to report experiences with discrimination in healthcare compared to the next closest country, Germany, and as much as 43% compared to their U.K. counterparts. Explicit discrimination was most pronounced among individuals with disabilities (90%), Native Americans (89%), Black Americans (87%) and the LBGTQAI+ community (86%).
  • At 84%, Spain outpaced the U.S., U.K. and Germany in the percentage of respondents reporting a lack of trust in the healthcare system. In addition, data shows that while the Romani community may receive connections to other resources outside of healthcare, the challenge remains getting them to the examination room.
  • In Germany, immigrants and refugee respondents were nearly twice as likely to have lost trust in a healthcare provider because they were not connected to those who share or understand their background and culture.

Unfair and avoidable

“We have known for some time that healthcare is not easily accessible to everyone and even when accessed, there are disparities within the same country. It is therefore very valuable to get further insight on the scale at which this inequity takes place and how healthcare and all associated barriers are experienced by different communities,” explains Daniëlle Friskes, Healthcare Business Director at Omnicom PR Group Netherlands (OPRG NL). “Health inequity is not only unfair and unacceptable but also avoidable. The underlying problems are known and the technologies and interventions to support people are available. But as this data shows, these must be coupled with the right communication tools in the right language and in the right tone, to serve everyone effectively regardless of race, ethnicity, immigration status, gender or sexuality.”