Monday, July 18, 2005

More on Immigration and Assimilation

"Immigrant Births in America Rising"

From Cara Anna, AP writer, via San Antonio Express-News(reg. required).

With the ever-increasing population of immigrants in the United States, legal and not, I hope it didn't take rocket science to figure this out. However, the amount of births is not the point of this post. Rather, the article explains and explores the problems presented with health care providers dealing with language barriers during the emotionally charged event of childbirth.

The article states that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 requires that interpreters be provided to non-English speaking patients. Since I could not find this requirement in the Act, I am assuming that the provision of interpreters has resulted from an after-Act interpretation of the Act by the court system. Regardless, this requirement serves to increase the cost of health care services to everyone.
[...] A survey of New Jersey's hospitals shows that in a largely urban state where 11 percent of residents have limited English, just 3 percent of hospitals have a full-time interpreter. Eighty percent of hospitals offer no staff training on working with interpreters, and 31 percent have no multilingual signs.
Cost is a barrier and most hospitals told the New Jersey survey that reimbursement for translation services is needed. A 2002 study by the National Association of Children's Hospitals found interpreting costs at 22 hospitals ranged from $1,800 to $847,000 per year. [...]
This is an expense that should not be placed on our health care systems. Interpreters should be provided on a voluntary basis for those who have not yet obtained a satisfactory knowledge of English

The United States is an English-speaking country. All immigrants should be encouraged, pressured, cajoled into learning the language of their adopted country. Assimilation is necessary for the health of this country.

Tagged as , , , , ,