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Patient Age and Location Dependent Gender Discrimination in India

Patient Age and Location Dependent Gender Discrimination in India

A recent study1 published on May 30, 2019 in BMJ Open found that gender discrimination affected female patients in India across younger and older age groups, and also for those that lived at further distances from the hospital. This study used a dataset of 2,377,028 outpatient appointments at a large public hospital and found an overall sex ratio of 1.69 to 1 male to female visit, excluding obsteretics and gynacology patients. This ratio shifts in a u-shaped manner with age: for younger age groups the ratio was higher at 1.94 and 2.02 for age groups 0-18 years and 19-30 years respectively, decreased to 1.45 and 1.38 for age groups 31-44 years and 45-59 years respectively, and increased again to 1.72 for older age groups.

As opposed to middle-aged women, this study finds that younger and older women are the most discriminated against and are less likely to be diagnosed and treated. Additionally, the further away the patients lived from the hospital, the lower amount of outpatient female visits. This study calls into question health disparities in healthcare access and suggests both systemic societal and governmental to combat against gender discrimination.

1. https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/9/8/e026850

 

About Gloria Wu

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