47% of women skip, cancel or delay healthcare due to barriers, new poll finds 

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A new survey conducted by the Stark County (Ohio) Health Department has found many women face significant barriers to healthcare access, including lack of appropriate appointment times and discrimination, reported The Repository Nov. 22.

The survey, which was funded through a grant from the Ohio Department of Health, included 303 women and asked them about their experience with the healthcare system. 

The most commonly reported barrier to accessing healthcare was the inability to take time off work, which was cited by 40 percent of women. A large majority of the women said that their physicians didn't offer weekend and/or after work appointments, further restricting their access. 

Around 20 percent of women said that they'd been made to feel unsafe or discriminated against due to an aspect of their identity in a medical setting. Commonly cited issues included being patronized due to their socioeconomic background, having their pain undermined or brushed off, and not being taken seriously by healthcare providers.

Almost half of the survey respondents said they'd skipped, canceled or delayed a health appointment because of the barriers or previous negative experiences within healthcare. 

In response to the survey results, the Stark County Health Department told The Repository that it is planning to expand after-hours appointments and transportation options. It is also holding cultural competence training and improving care coordination with community health workers.

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