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Civil Rights and Medical Leaders Call for Social Justice in Health Care
Date:9/27/2007

e," said Dr. Ofili, "we are placing our patients at unnecessary risk of premature death and poor quality of life."

Dr. Williams called upon providers and patients to challenge political candidates about their views on healthcare disparities, including medication access inequities and drug switching. Denial of access to BiDil, and required switching of patients from brand drugs to generics that are not as effective, are a healthcare disparity of the greatest sort, he said.

Rev. Crider spoke of both his commitment to a civil rights framework for the healthcare disparities movement, and the challenges of advocating for the addition of BiDil to formularies across the nation. He praised the linkage of the civil rights, the medical, and the faith-based communities to bring their particular expertise to the civil rights movement for social justice in healthcare.

In support of this civil rights social justice movement, these organizations will work together to conduct a series of initiatives to help build a healthcare research, delivery and financing system that has the capacity to provide optimal care to a diverse America. One of the first is Community HeartBEAT -- a national education and advocacy initiative designed to eliminate preventable morbidity and mortality for Blacks/African Americans with chronic heart failure by improving the quality of care provided by physicians, and increasing patients' awareness of effective treatments. All speakers supported the need for a national plan to redress healthcare inequities.

"Lack of quality healthcare for all Americans, no matter how you got here, is a national issue that needs to be addressed at the national level," said Dr. Akhter. "You don't get what you deserve, you get what you demand!"

As noted by Del. Christensen, who has co-sponsored the Health Equity and Accountability Act of 2007, "Quality healthcare for all Americans cannot and will not be achieved until we have a healthcare system that
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SOURCE National Minority Quality Forum
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
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