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Problems with English Help Block Many Hispanics from Medical Care

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AHRQ News and Numbers

Release date: March 26, 2008

Only about 49 percent of Hispanics who are not comfortable speaking English have a regular source of medical care, such as a family doctor or community health clinic, compared to 63 percent of Hispanics who speak English proficiently, according to the latest News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). About 6 of every 10 Hispanics with limited English proficiency are also uninsured compared with 3 of every 10 Hispanics who speak English proficiently.

AHRQ's analysis, based on 2004 statistics, also found:

  • About 46 percent of Hispanics with limited English proficiency visited a doctor or clinic compared to 58 percent of those who spoke English proficiently.
  • About 9 percent of Hispanics with limited English proficiency went to an emergency room compared to 13 percent who spoke English proficiently.
  • About 41 percent of Hispanics with limited English proficiency had prescriptions filled compared to 51 percent who spoke English proficiently.
  • About 16 percent of Hispanics with limited English proficiency visited a dentist compared to 30 percent who spoke English proficiently.

This AHRQ News and Numbers is based on data in Demographics and Health Care Access of Limited-English-Proficient and English-Proficient Hispanics. For additional information on Hispanic health care disparities, see AHRQ's 2007 National Health Disparities Report. To learn about AHRQ's new public service campaign to encourage adult Hispanics to visit their doctor for preventive care go to http://www.ahrq.gov/superheroes.

For further information or to speak with an AHRQ data expert, contact Bob Isquith at Bob.Isquith@ahrq.hhs.gov or call (301) 427-1539.

Current as of March 2008


 

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