Presentation (Project) Title

Health and Equity in the Dominican Republic

Mentor Information

Lindy Davidson (Judy Genshaft Honors College)

Presentation Format

Event

Abstract

Throughout the 20th century, the Dominican Republic (DR) brought people from Haiti to work in the sugarcane industry. However, the drop in the sugarcane industry left many sugarcane workers impoverished, living in quarters called Bateyes. Bateyes and other rural communities have suffered from communicable diseases that result from lack of healthcare and poor housing conditions. Article 61 of the D.R. Constitution states that all people of the D.R. should have access to integral healthcare. The D.R.’s healthcare structure disproportionately affects rural communities through lack of federal regulation, inefficient use of resources, and lack of access to healthcare providers. Through the compilation of information from published literature, including interviews, government documents, and scholarly articles, this study finds that a lack of government oversight allows healthcare facilities to deny services to impoverished members of Bateyes and rural communities. Additionally, due to a lack of funding in the public healthcare sector, physicians participate in medical tourism for profit, thereby diverting healthcare resources from poverty-stricken communities to a wealthier international clientele. Furthermore, recent studies suggest the use of teleconsultations effectively increases healthcare access in the D.R. These findings suggest a need to thoroughly evaluate the federal health infrastructure, resource distribution, and community health disparities. The implications of this research include increasing health equity across all socioeconomic classes and evaluating potential solutions to achieve the goal of health equity in the D.R., including telehealth. Future research should assess increasing funding to the public health sector to bridge the divide between healthcare providers and rural communities.

Streaming Media

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 

Health and Equity in the Dominican Republic

Throughout the 20th century, the Dominican Republic (DR) brought people from Haiti to work in the sugarcane industry. However, the drop in the sugarcane industry left many sugarcane workers impoverished, living in quarters called Bateyes. Bateyes and other rural communities have suffered from communicable diseases that result from lack of healthcare and poor housing conditions. Article 61 of the D.R. Constitution states that all people of the D.R. should have access to integral healthcare. The D.R.’s healthcare structure disproportionately affects rural communities through lack of federal regulation, inefficient use of resources, and lack of access to healthcare providers. Through the compilation of information from published literature, including interviews, government documents, and scholarly articles, this study finds that a lack of government oversight allows healthcare facilities to deny services to impoverished members of Bateyes and rural communities. Additionally, due to a lack of funding in the public healthcare sector, physicians participate in medical tourism for profit, thereby diverting healthcare resources from poverty-stricken communities to a wealthier international clientele. Furthermore, recent studies suggest the use of teleconsultations effectively increases healthcare access in the D.R. These findings suggest a need to thoroughly evaluate the federal health infrastructure, resource distribution, and community health disparities. The implications of this research include increasing health equity across all socioeconomic classes and evaluating potential solutions to achieve the goal of health equity in the D.R., including telehealth. Future research should assess increasing funding to the public health sector to bridge the divide between healthcare providers and rural communities.