Impact of Diversity on Health Care


Diversity is the inclusion of people from various cultural beliefs, religions, races, gender, sexual orientation, and financial status in different social, political, or economic practices. Diversity is essential in healthcare as it assists in service delivery by increasing inclusivity and reducing biases. In healthcare delivery, various aspects of diversity include gender, culture, and social and economic status. Different genders have different healthcare needs, which influences the services delivered in healthcare facilities. For example, women’s reproductive health is more demanding than that of males as women experience more needs visible in their monthly period cycle and conditions related to childbirth. The needs of women being more challenging than men show the influence of gender on health care because more special needs need to be put in to deal with the specific gender.

Cultures perceive diseases and their causes according to their beliefs and customs which influence access of care. People from various cultures have different beliefs, affecting their perception of illness and care given to patients (Henderson, Horne, Hills & Kendall, 2018). Multiple cultures have varied perceptions of diseases’ causes, which influences their acceptance to seek medical attention. Some cultures believe that the cause of diseases is spiritual, where the condition is punishment for an individual’s wrongdoing. Such beliefs can cause stigmatization and neglect on the individuals affected, leading to poor health. For example, psychiatric patients in various cultures are perceived as crazy, and most of these individuals do not receive any treatment leading to detrimental consequences in their health. Social and economic status influence the care people get because healthcare is an expensive industry. People from good social and economic backgrounds can access better premium insurance and receive adequate medical services. However, individuals from low-income status cannot afford insurance premiums and receive poor medical services (Henderson et al., 2018). They depend on government subsidies and healthcare plans such as the universal health coverage offered in their specific states. Different demographics have a particular impact on healthcare because they bring particular requirements to the industry.

Cultural Competence

Cultural competence is the ability of an individual to develop a good working relationship with people from various cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Cultural competence helps to understand their beliefs and ensure good communication and empathy during interactions (Henderson et al., 2018). Healthcare as an organization offers an environment where healthcare providers interact with people from diverse cultures, and establishing cultural competence improves service delivery. The interaction of people from different cultures impacts an individual and the culture of the workplace. Cultural competence has a positive impact on organizational behavior because it increases understanding among people from different cultures (Henderson et al., 2018). Members of an organization who can interact with fellow staff concerning their beliefs improve the working relations and foster good relationships. Cultural competence enables an organization to create codes of ethics and standards that foster behavior that encourages empathy and understanding among people from different cultures.

Diversity Management

Diversity management refers to activities in an organization that promote inclusivity in the workplace among employees bringing people from various backgrounds through policies. The various customer demographics pose different challenges to the health sector due to their specific needs. The United States population has increased communities of color, primarily Latinos from South America and African Americans. These communities face socioeconomic difficulties that make of difficult to access proper healthcare due to its high cost (Henderson et al., 2018). These groups have high chances of acquiring specific diseases; for example, African Americans have increased risks of developing diabetes and are more affected by maternal mortality. The impact of these particular needs is on healthcare facilities that regularly assess the needs of their communities to determine their changing needs. This move enables the healthcare facilities to come up with programs to cater to the specific needs of their communities influenced by the different cultural and ethnic populations.

These communities’ social, economic status has encouraged the government to develop measures to curb the high insurance premiums and medical costs in the country by introducing programs like the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare. Diversity is also visible in the healthcare industry, with an increase in healthcare workers from various racial, ethnic, cultural, and gender groups (Glazer, Tobias & Mentzel, 2018). Diversity in the workforce has resulted in a change in the organizational culture, incorporating more acceptable practices to a diverse workforce. Increased diversity enables the healthcare industry to have insight into the different beliefs of customers from various backgrounds, enhancing communication and service delivery (Purnell & Fenkl, 2019). Interaction between staff from multiple backgrounds increases tolerance and understanding, creating a harmonious working environment fostering productivity.

Understanding Diversity

Understanding diversity helps create awareness, promote empathy, and improve understanding within a community, nation, and globally. It helps people to view and interpret another individual’s experience from their perspective (Dennissen, Benschop & van den Brink, 2020). Analyzing another individual’s activity from their perspective shows and increases empathy of their situation and encourages understanding among individuals. Perceiving experiences based on other people’s know-how helps the community live in harmony. Diversity a national level creates awareness to more people and helps to promote awareness and empathy worldwide.


Diversity affects service delivery because various demographics have different health care needs. People from multiple cultures, age differences, gender, cultures, and religion have unique challenges. Deferent cultures perceive diseases from similar or contradicting views, which affect how they access health care. Gender plays a significant role in service delivery because males and females have varied medical needs due to physiological differences. Cultural competence positively impacts organizational behavior as it encourages empathy and understanding of people from diverse backgrounds. Managing diversity in an organization is essential to enhancing understanding and tolerance of diverse cultures to bring about organizational success.


Dennissen, M., Benschop, Y., & van den Brink, M. (2020). Rethinking diversity management: An intersectional analysis of diversity networks. Organization Studies, 41(2), 219-240.

Glazer, G., Tobias, B., & Mentzel, T. (2018). Increasing healthcare workforce diversity: Urban universities as catalysts for change. Journal of Professional Nursing, 34(4), 239-244.

Henderson, S., Horne, M., Hills, R., & Kendall, E. (2018). Cultural competence in healthcare in the community: A concept analysis. Health & Social Care in the Community, 26(4), 590-603.

Purnell, L. D., & Fenkl, E. A. (2019). Transcultural diversity and health care. In Handbook for culturally competent care (pp. 1-6). Cham: Springer

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