Minorities suffer from ER overcrowding

Hospitals serving minority populations subject to ambulance diversions

Minority populations are disproportionately affected by overcrowding in California emergency departments, a study finds.

Researchers from UCLA, UCSF and Stanford University tracked how often ambulances were diverted to another facility from 202 California hospitals, finding hospitals serving the largest ratio of minority patients diverted emergency vehicles up to four times as often as hospitals serving smaller percentages of minority patients, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The authors found ambulance diversions can lead to delays in medical attention and poorer health outcomes.

The authors also noted that emergency departments can become overwhelmed with poor, uninsured patients who use the emergency department in lieu of primary-care services.