Valuing diversity in our patient population

As an Hispanic male, I take an interest in health care issues that face Hispanic people. This population of people in the United States is growing, but many of them do not receive good health care. According to a North Carolina Center for Public Policy Research news release, the reasons have been identified as language barriers, lack of insurance or the means to pay for health care, and lack of transportation (para. 8). The same news release also identified that some Hispanics do not know all the services that are available to them. These things need to be changed in order for the health care of Hispanics to improve.
First, an increase in Hispanic, or Spanish-speaking medical professionals is necessary. I can personally understand how hard it is, and how frustrating it is, to try to discuss something as important as health care with a person who doesn’t speak the same language you do. Of course, there are translators in some cases, but this creates the problem of increased waiting times at appointments while a translator is located and becomes available. It can also be very embarrassing for a patient to be constantly asked if he or she speaks English, and then have a fuss made to find someone who speaks Spanish. This alone could make a patient not want to see a doctor.
The news release also mentioned that many Hispanics are in low-wage occupations (para. 4). This could directly account for lack of transportation, and the inability to pay for health care. Most low-paying jobs do not offer health insurance. If they do, it might not be affordable. Without a sufficient income, buying a car or paying for insurance becomes nearly impossible. Until these things are changed, the lack of health care for Hispanics will continue.
Hispanics, though, aren’t the only race of people who don’t receive routine medical care. African Americans also fall into this category. Speaking solely of prenatal care, the NCCPPR news release claims that 87.7 percent of whites, 72.6 percent of African Americans, and 68 percent of Hispanic women (para. 6) see a doctor in the first trimester of pregnancy. There is a big gap in the number of white women who get care early, and the number of Blacks and Hispanics who do. The problem with this is that routine prenatal care is necessary for the child, as well as the mom, and not receiving it can cause problems for two people, not just one.
Although African-American people and Hispanic people face some of the same problems related to health care, their experiences differ, as well. For starters, most African Americans do not have the problem of language barriers. Some Hispanics arrive in this country speaking no English, and still know little of the native language, and have the challenge of trying to decipher medical language as well. Of course, not all African Americans can understand a physician who uses big words, but they can understand other staff members, and probably are more comfortable asking another qualified person to help them figure out what the doctor meant. Black people do face some challenges, though, that Hispanics might not. In Race Affects Health Care, Rob Stein discussed the fact that Black patients who are diabetic are more likely to suffer from uncontrolled blood sugar and high cholesterol (para. 15). This wasn’t noted in Hispanic patients. This essay reads that black women receive the