Washington Post Examines Need for Dental Services Among Hispanic Immigrants in Virginia
The recent arrest in Falls Church, Va., of a couple from El Salvador who allegedly were providing dental services without a license to immigrants "underscores a larger problem in getting affordable medical and dental services" to adult immigrants who "fear the system and lack insurance," the Washington Post reports. In a survey of congregation members by St. Anthony's Catholic Church, 70% of Hispanics said they needed dental services, the No. 1 health care need. Hispanic and other immigrants in the area can receive dental services at the Northern Virginia Dental Clinic, the area's largest provider of dental care for low-income, uninsured adults. The clinic, which charges $40 per visit, has about 4,500 appointments annually, and hundreds more people are on a waiting list for appointments. Tom Wilson, the clinic's executive director, said the clinic is "only one answer to a very large problem." Dental students at Northern Virginia Community College also provide preventive services for immigrants (Vargas, Washington Post, 4/19).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.