Examining Recent Hispanic Immigrants' Access To Health Care
"Strangers in a Strange Land: Health Care Experiences for Recent Latino Immigrants in Midwest Communities," Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved: Researchers conducted 50 in-depth interviews of recent Hispanic immigrants in southeast Michigan to examine their perceptions on access to health care.
The study analyzed respondents' assessments of their own health status, social and health needs, use of health care services, barriers to care and strategies they used to address such barriers, and ways they believe are best to address immigrants' health needs. Researchers found that Hispanic immigrants often are not utilizing or are unaware of local public health programs. Immigrants identified various barriers to care, including a lack of health insurance, language and isolation.
To overcome such barriers, immigrants adopted payment plans, used community members as resources, requested the use of an interpreter or used another strategy. Researchers recommend that health outreach efforts targeting immigrants should be "continuously renewed and re-oriented to reach new arrivals" (Harari et al., Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, November 2008).
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