Black Californians Want Better Health Care. Here’s How We Can Achieve It – California Health Report

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Kam Shaw of Contra Costa County is just one example of a black Californian who feels underserved by our healthcare system.

In July, Shaw, whose name was changed to protect her medical privacy, tried to get an urgent appointment because of pain in her foot. The pain escalated over the course of two days. On the third day, she called her doctor’s office at 6 a.m., hoping to get an appointment that same day. She didn’t hear anything until 4:00 pm, when she was in extreme pain and could barely walk.

Shaw had to make an expensive trip to the emergency room but received no diagnosis. Instead, she was sent home with medication and a bandage, with instructions to contact her primary care provider in 5 to 7 days if she was still in pain. Shaw never received any additional follow-up care or information about her foot injury from the hospital or her doctor. Ultimately, Shaw’s foot recovered on its own, but she felt like nobody cared to help her even though she had health insurance.

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