Saturday, September 18, 2004

Language is greater barrier to health care in the South than elsewhere

"Limited English skills and the lack of Spanish-speaking health workers have prevented many Hispanic patients from seeking appropriate medical care, according to a survey released Friday by the National Council of La Raza."

"The reluctance of Hispanics to seek or even trust the health care system in the South is similar to that in other parts of the country, experts say. But the difference in the South is that the Hispanic population has exploded so quickly that health services have yet to catch up."

"In Georgia, Hispanics were nearly 2 percent of the population in 1990 and grew to more than 5 percent by 2000. Atlanta's Hispanic population has grown 30 percent and Nashville's has grown by 21 percent during the same period, the organization said."

"The survey, which interviewed Hispanic residents and health providers in Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee--the states with the largest recent growth of Hispanics--found that Hispanic communities have very limited sources of health information."

Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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