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National Minority Health Month

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Ms. LORETTA SANCHEZ of California. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in honor of National Minority Health Month and I want to address a key issue of importance: raising awareness of the medical needs for minorities.

National Minority Health Month aims to raise awareness about health disparities that continue to affect racial and ethnic minorities.

It is important to recognize the need to raise awareness because our communities are often left out, finding quality and affordable health care is a real obstacle.

This year's theme is Advance Health Equity Now: Uniting Our Communities to Bring Health Care Coverage to All, a common goal in improving the health for everyone in our communities.

On that note, I wish to speak on the issue of home dialysis and those affected by this daily necessity.

Home dialysis can be very beneficial for numerous reasons--it can help patients live a more full and independent life. It can also be more cost-effective and by staying at home, it relieves constraints on an already small health care workforce.

However, the reality is that most people who begin dialysis in the U.S. are treated in dialysis centers.

3.3 percent of non-Hispanic patients receive this amenity but only 1.7 percent of Hispanic patients receive this treatment.

Furthermore, African-American dialysis patients are approximately 20 percent less likely than average to receive home dialysis and Hispanic dialysis patients are 37 percent less likely to be receiving this home treatment.

In my home-state of California alone, almost 38,000 people are on dialysis, with only 2.1% of people receiving home dialysis on a daily basis.

That is why I would like to raise today and promote awareness of the disparities that minority communities face, with the goal of improving the care for all of those in need.

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