atisfaction with their obstetrical care in U.S. medical facilities. The public health community is increasingly aware of the need for more physicians familiar with the language, values and customs of the growing Latino population, Oropesa notes. Currently, only 5 percent of physicians in general and of obstetricians and gynecologists, in particular, is Latino.
"As a group that has traditionally had high rates of negative infant health outcomes coupled with socioeconomic disadvantage, Puerto Ricans have been singled out for special attention in health promotion efforts that draw attention to the prenatal care component of health care delivery," Landale says. She and Oropesa also are research associates affilaited with the University's Population Research Institute (PRI).
Puerto Ricans - who are mainly concentrated in major Northeastern cities -- experience comparatively low levels of educational attainment and relatively high rates of poverty, single parenthood and unemployment. As a result, they constitute one of the most underprivileged minority groups in the United States, with 25 percent of all Puerto Ricans and 37 percent of all Puerto Rican children living below the poverty line. Almost one-fourth of "mainland" Puerto Ricans receive Medicaid benefits and 15 percent have no health insurance whatsoever, the researchers say.
Puerto Ricans in the low-income category, like low-income people in general, are forced to rely on public health insurance programs such as Medicaid for their medical needs, according to the researchers. The disadvantage is a complicated application process and a scarcity of doctors willing to treat low-income patients. Finally, people of low socio-economic status, as recipients of public insurance, are usually shunted into public clinics and health centers.
"Public clinics serving low-income people can provide a wide range of services, but they often suffer from staPage: 1 2 3 Related medicine news :1
Contact: Paul Blaum
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