It is estimated that the Hispanic population of the United States is now close to 54 million individuals. This is about a 50% increase since 2000 and nearly six times the population in 1970, according to the most recent U.S. Census Bureau data. As a comparison, the overall U.S. population increased by only 12% from 2000 to 2012. Because Hispanic population growth accounted for more than half of the country’s growth in this time period, experts agree on the fact that this growing community is facing a language and cultural barrier when it comes to integrating American society, including access to healthcare.
The Hispanic population faces several obstacles when it comes to obtaining quality health care. First of all, higher poverty rates among the Hispanic community often make it difficult to cover costs associated with healthcare, even for individuals who have insurance. According to the 2010 Census, 26.6% of Hispanics lived in poverty.
A lack of education can also be an obstacle to understanding how the healthcare system works. Following the advice of a health provider is difficult for individuals who have low English proficiency. A lack of education also means that health problems are often not seen as a priority because the risks are not fully understood.
Individuals who recently arrived in the U.S. are more likely to find themselves isolated from healthcare services due to their lack of understanding of how the healthcare system works. Immigration status is another contributing factor. Undocumented immigrants find themselves in a unique situation and usually decide not to seek healthcare.
cultural differences in health access
A lot of Hispanics do not have a family doctor. Having a usual healthcare provider means an individual will be more likely to receive services or seek treatment as soon as a condition appears. Hispanic families find themselves more isolated and do not seek help until a medical condition worsens.
Some Hispanic families do not perceive having a family doctor as important. There is a strong need to educate the Hispanic community about the importance of preventive action, screenings and check-ups. Making educational material widely available in Spanish is one of the best ways of reaching out to these families.
How can you help reduce this gap as a healthcare professional?
You can make healthcare services more accessible to everyone by investing in Hispanic marketing. Addressing Hispanic individuals in a language they fully understand makes healthcare a lot more accessible and helps them understand why healthcare should be a priority.
Having access to information in Spanish allows Hispanic families to understand the recommendations of their healthcare providers and to navigate the complex healthcare system. However, simply translating information in Spanish might not be enough. You need to adapt your message to address issues that are specific to the Hispanic community.
Cultural adaptation of your marketing and educational materials become very important when you need to make an emotional connection with your Hispanic audience and speak to them in a way that feels relevant to their own daily lives. Our team of diverse and experienced professionals can help you reach out to the Hispanic community by providing translation, transcreation and other services designed to make healthcare more accessible.