New study out indicates that Immigrants are not the healthy lot we thought they were. I recently spoke with an er Doctor about a common issue that he faces; immigrants or what he thinks to be immigrants use the ER like Primary Care only they tend to come in with a list of issues. Many of their health issues could have been treated easily had they not waited. Many have chronic diseases such as Diabetes 2 and have never been treated. Many have respiratory issues that from xrays you get a feel that they are long standing.
I wonder how much it costs us to frighten immigrants, illegal or otherwise, into thinking that there is some reporting that goes on in Health Care. As far as I know I have never heard of any Doctor or staff reporting immigrants. I worked for an early childhood development program and we would see it all the time that immigrant families were hesitant to seek service for their children and even when service was rendered they often treated it to begin with, with mis-trust. This was double for the male head of house hold.
In this current political climate this problem is growing worse. I also believe that the money that outreach programs had for interpreters is long gone/ cut by many states. But I also wonder if there is something deeper here? Is this lack of outreach some sort of punishment or if immigrants are afraid to seek care is it somehow a way for our leaders to make it less likely some will stay. I am sure no one on CNN will talk about healthcare in immigrant populations, but if we looked at this from a perspective of cost savings it is far cheaper to outreach and treat then it is to treat in an ER.
I believe that there are a number of Health Care related issues that could be addressed right now and with far less money then what it costs us currently. Certainly Immigrants around the world face similar issues. These are not second class citizens! They were once our fathers and grandmothers and the people that bring life to a culture.