Dallas Morning News Looks At Hispanic Health Care In Texas
Many Texas health providers and insurers are changing the way theyadminister and address health care in order to accommodate a growingHispanic population, the Dallas Morning News reports. Hispanics are expected to comprise nearly 60% of the state's population in 30 years, according to the Morning News.
Areahospitals are providing bilingual legal documents, reading material,signage and the newest translation technology, while physicians andinsurers are beginning to focus more on ailments most prevalent in theHispanic population, such as diabetes, obesity and certain cancers. Inaddition, medical schools and universities are beginning to incorporateSpanish language and Hispanic health courses into curriculums.
The University of North Texas Health Science Centeris the first in the nation to offer a course that teaches medicalstudents how to locate community-based resources for Hispanic patients,according to Bruce Dubin, associate dean of medical education at thecenter. San Antonio last month designed the first and only U.S.hospital, called "Hispanic Healthcare Hospital," that is specificallyfor treating Hispanics.
"Such accommodations are not without controversy," the Morning Newsreports. Some argue that not enough is being done to tailor health carefor Hispanics, such as requiring physicians to learn Spanish and beculturally competent. But "others bristle" at the idea of medicalstudents learning a foreign language "rather than honing their craft,"according to the Morning News. Jerry Frankel, a recentlyretired Texas urologist, said, "I think the reasonable thing is fordoctors to learn how to practice medicine well. If you make the doctorspeak Spanish, then what about Chinese? ...Where do you draw the line?"Cristina Gonz