Access to healthcare is limited by a number of factors. One primary cause can be attributed to lack of financial aids. As explained by Kidder in “Mountains Beyond Mountains: Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, A man who could cure the world”, the different ways in which people live in different parts of the world is a kind of structural violence. There is an accumulation of massive amounts of health in one part of the world and abject misery inherent in some other parts and yet both exist in relation to each other. A person’s race, class and gender make a clear difference when it comes to how they are diagnosed or treated with. According to Paul Kivel, an educator, activist, over studies worth twenty years, it has been proved that people of color arriving at a hospital during heart attack are significantly less likely to receive beta-blocking drugs, aspirin, clot-dissolving drugs, angioplasty, catheterization or a surgery(Ankathil, 2010). Whether or not the negligence leads to death, the damage to their condition is substantial.
In her book, The Spirit Catches You and You Fall down, Fadiman the cultural and linguistic difficulties faced by a couple whose daughter is diagnosed with epilepsy. The couple being a Hmong is wary of the western medical care because they are used to a healing by a txiv neeb in a shamanistic healing procedure. Also, the American doctors do not understand their language very well. And at the time the American hospitals did not have an interpreter. So, even after their child experienced multiple seizures since three months of age, it took eight months and three visits to the emergency room for the couple to get a clear diagnosis and that when they brought one of their English speaking cousins (Kidder, 2003). Luckily for them, the doctor at the time was knowledgeable and interested in Hmong culture. Also, the book portrays the difficulties of minorities in obtaining healthcare and their hardship navigating through it. People without health insurance need to wait for emergencies to arise so receive treatment.