Health Care thoughts: Religious, Gender and Cultural Issues

by Tom aka Rusty Rustbelt

Health Care: Religious, Gender and Cultural Issues

The Muslim population in the U.S. is now about 7 million, some having been here many generations and others being new immigrants. Muslims arrive with various cultural backgrounds and various degrees of cultural conservatism. Americans of other religions and beliefs also have cultural sensitivity issues as well.

This sometimes creates issues for health care providers, particularly caring for Muslim women.

A hospital on the east coast is being sued because the only EKG tech in the building at midnight was a male and a Muslim female in the emergency department refused the test, later leaving for another hospital.

Culturally conservative women have issues with male physicians and any state of undress. Many women of various persuasions prefer female ob-gyn care.

For most routine care women can find women physicians in this era, for emergency or specialty care this may not be readily possible.

Female patients (of all religions) in nursing homes often have problems with male nurse aides. Males generally do not care as much (although some males have an issue with care from very young women).

Most of these issues can be worked out, but sometimes the issues interfere with prompt care. Patients in more rural areas may have problems choosing providers. (In our rural Mrs. R has a male Muslim primary care doc, I have a male Mormon, so some rural areas are a little more diverse).

Just one more complication in a very complicated system.