Ventura County Latinos Lack Access to Health Services, Study Finds
Latinos in Ventura County face language and cultural barriers in obtaining health care and lack access to health services, according to a study released Wednesday by Destino: The Hispanic Legacy Fund and the Ventura County Community Foundation, the Ventura County Star reports.
The study, which surveyed health care providers in the county, notes that some low- and middle-income families who have annual incomes that are too high to qualify for Medi-Cal, the state's Medicaid program, cannot afford private health insurance and might forego treatment for chronic diseases.
In addition, about one in five children of undocumented immigrant parents is in fair or poor health, and one in four children of undocumented immigrant parents does not have a regular source of care, according to the study.
Hugh Ralston, president and CEO of the foundation, said the study did not compare the effect of lack of access to care for undocumented immigrants and other Latino populations in the county. "The purpose of the study was to look at the community as a whole," Ralston said.
Survey respondents said that the health care and social service systems in the county are fragmented but that "one-stop" health services centers have helped the problem.
Researchers recommend that health care and other organizations provide cultural awareness training that focuses on outreach and grant writing to improve services for Latino populations in the county (Hernandez, Ventura County Star, 10/5).