Access to health care and what it means for you

The COVID-19 pandemic raised gaps in health care in the San Antonio area

Access to affordable, quality health care is important to physical, social, and mental health.

The city of San Antonio Metro Health is ensuring the community has access to personal health services while achieving better health outcomes.

Access to health care is the ability to obtain health care at every level. This includes addressing illnesses that are preventable, transportation issues, and insurance or lack thereof. Then, it ensures residents make that connection with a health care provider.

For Metro Health, health equity equals access to care. The COVID-19 pandemic raised gaps in the San Antonio area.

Sian Elmore with Metro Health said they are collecting data through an assessment. That assessment will inform officials about issues people may have experienced through the pandemic as it relates to access to care.

Once those results are given to Metro Health officials, they hope it will communicate where the needs of the community are.

“COVID-19 really highlighted and exacerbated healthcare inequalities. So, people of color have always struggled in that area, and the pandemic highlighted that even more so. " Elmore said.

Elmore said African Americans are dying at higher rates because of COVID-19. Therefore, there is a need for Metro Health to step in to help minimize this for communities of color.

In addition, Metro Health is supporting Black maternal health during April.

Elmore says that Black women are three times as likely to die from a pregnancy-related complication than white women.

Metro Health will host the first annual Black Maternal Health Week event at St. Philips College at 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. This is a family-friendly event, with dinner included. The event is free to attend.

For more information on Metro Health, visit their website.