Health Care Access has barriers other than ability to pay

There are many barriers that limit the access to health care.  No insurance, unemployment, underemployment, etc.  However, there may be another barrier that many do NOT think about.  How willing would you be to seek primary health care or preventative check-ups if you could not communicate with your doctor?

This past year, it was predicted that a total of 1,110 Burmese refugees would move to Indianapolis.  About 75% of Indianapolis’s refugees each year are Burmese, and these numbers are being reflected within our Federally Qualified Health Centers.  With a developed community of Burmese, our community is likely to see these numbers maintained.  According to an article in the Y-Press, “Indianapolis is home to more than 2,000 Burmese from two ethnic groups: the Chin and the Karen. About 1,300 Chin live in Perry Township; the remainder are Karen, in Washington Township.”

Language can be a significant barrier to health care, and an increase in Burmese speaking nurses, physicians, and staff is a great help to overcoming this barrier.  HealthNet considers this barrier and provides reading resources in Burmese and a few interpreters on staff to help with communication.

Increasing access to care is at the core of not only HealthNet’s Community Health Centers but all FQHCs around the nation.  How can we all help to overcome barriers for those who need it?  How can we provide more access to affordable health care?

-Help spread awareness about the importance of increasing access or help directly by donating here to HealthNet and allow us to provide more resources to overcome the language barrier!

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  1. Grassroots Advocacy Never Sleeps! « - May 10, 2011

    [...] this service area, over 45% of residents are living at or below 200% of poverty level, another barrier on top of the lack of access to care.  (For more facts, figures, and maps click [...]

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