In a new piece for the journal “Health Affairs,” MLKCH CEO Dr. Elaine Batchlor discusses the hidden healthcare crisis that drove COVID-19 outcomes in South LA.
She refutes the idea that patient outcomes hinged on access to heroic and specialized treatments. Rather, her essay explores how a serious shortage of primary care physicians and specialists, as well as a chronic underfunding for low-income communities has created an epidemic of poorly controlled chronic illness—conditions ripe for a community to become a pandemic epicenter.
“A lifelong lack of access to health care drove disparate COVID-19 outcomes in South Los Angeles,” Dr. Batchlor writes. “And that lack of access is directly related to our nation’s historic and continued underfunding of care for communities of color.”
Health Affairs is a leading, peer-reviewed journal of health policy thought and research that was founded in 1981 under Project HOPE, a nonprofit international health education organization. It explores domestic and international health policy issues, reaching a broad audience of government and industry leaders, policymakers, and scholars.