Medically underserved areas/populations are geographic areas designated as having too few primary care providers, high infant mortality, high poverty or a high elderly population. This definition also includes shortages of primary medical care, dental or mental health providers.
Some barriers to care for medically underserved areas and populations include:
- Economic factors
- Cultural factors
- Linguistic factors
Locally, black, indigenous people of color (BIPOC) and other minorities only make up 30% of the population in Louisville but are the largest poverty group in the city. This group also makes up most of the population in the west and south portions of the city, both being medically underserved areas.
In the west and south ends, those who do not have reliable personal transportation would be unfortunately out of luck to seek immediate medical attention without the use of public transportation or other means of arrangements. The other option would be to walk, which is not ideal in emergency situations, and would be at least a 45 minute to an hour walk to the nearest location in the area.
Even though infant mortality rates have decreased, black babies in Louisville are still two to three times more likely to die than white babies. The overall life expectancy is also significantly lower in these underserved areas compared to those in east Louisville.
The opening of UofL Health – Urgent Care Plus in the Parkland neighborhood brings a health care center into a landlocked area providing the availability to nearby senior citizens, families and young children. The new Urgent Care Plus location is set to open on July 6, bringing a wide range of services including primary and urgent care providers, routine exams and preventative care. Community-based health services such as occupational medicine and Department of Transportation physicals and drug testing will also be available.
Need urgent care? Find the “Power of U” in your neighborhood online and check wait times here. Monday through Saturday, all Urgent Care Plus location see patients from 8 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sunday’s hours are 8 a.m.-6 p.m.