Poor health outcomes, unfortunately, are a common reality in the Hispanic community. From a lack of insurance and access to health care to high-risk environments, there is a significant need to educate Hispanics on health issues and increase their access to health care services.
Hispanics are less likely to seek and receive health care services, which may contribute to their poorer health status and higher rates of morbidity and mortality.
HAF conducted a study in 2012 with Spanish-speaking immigrants in two pilot communities (Yakima, WA and Denver, CO) and found that many people did not have a primary care physician, many were uninsured, and many more reported difficulties communicating with their primary care physician due to language barriers. Highlights of the study appear in the graphic below:
These findings are consistent with other studies conducted with the Hispanic population in general. According to the CDC for example, Hispanics are less likely than non-Hispanics to:
- Have health care coverage
- Have one or more regular personal health-care providers
- Be screened for blood cholesterol
- Be screened for breast, cervical, and colorectal cancers
In addition, Hispanics are more likely to report having needed medical care during the preceding 12 months but not received it.
With the Hispanic population projected to nearly double by 2050 to 30 percent, the need to address the knowledge and behaviors within this community is paramount. Increased understanding of preventive health and improved access to care, absent of language barriers, needs to be the common reality among Hispanics – not the poor health outcomes that pervade the community.