California Survey Finds Lack of Education, Preventive Measures Contribute to Poor Hispanic Health Care
The health of California's growing Hispanic population is being hampered by a lack of access to health care, preventive medicine and education, according to a survey released Monday by the Latino Issues Forum and MAYA, a Latino-owned research and marketing firm, the Torrance Daily Breeze reports.
The survey found that about four million Hispanics are uninsured, which is the highest rate for any minority group in California. Respondents, including more than 100 Hispanic community leaders, said lack of education was the biggest problem related to Hispanic health. They also said there are not enough Spanish-speaking physicians or investments in programs to help prevent chronic conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease and obesity.
The respondents recommended that the state expand public programs, mandate that employers offer health insurance and require all health plans to cover preventive care. They also suggested addressing the issue through Latino legislators, national initiatives on immigration and citizenship, and grassroots campaigns to remove barriers to health care.
Officials estimate that Hispanics will be California's largest ethnic group by 2011 and the majority of the state's population by 2040 (Evans, Torrance Daily Breeze, 3/10).