Asian-Americans Face Healthcare Barriers

BUFFALO, N.Y., Aug. 21 (UPI) — Some Asian-Americans have full access to healthcare but U.S. researchers say many Asian-Americans have the same healthcare barriers as other immigrant groups.

Professors Wooksoo Kim and Robert H. Keefe of the University at Buffalo School of Work say Asian-Americans cannot be lumped together into easy stereotypes as “well adjusted” or “successful.”

The study, published in the summer issue of Social Work in Public Health, finds four major barriers — language and culture, health literacy, health insurance and immigrant status — create vast differences between some Asian-Americans with access to good healthcare and those who endure barriers.

“Asian-Americans are considered a ‘model minority,’ which prevents many Asian-Americans from getting help when they need it, and this study addresses that issue,” Kim says in a statement.

One of the most difficult barriers is language, particularly for elderly Asian-Americans, who often need healthcare services most and are least likely to be proficient in English, the study says.

“Despite the public’s view of Asian-Americans as the financially well-to-do ‘model minority,’ the poverty rate for Asian-Americans as a group is actually higher than that of Caucasians,” the researchers say.

Immigrants are often healthier than the average person living in their host country, but the longer they live in their new country, these positive effects wear off.

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