New York, June 15 (EFE). Many immigrants in New York live with food insecurity and have cut back on spending on food or basic goods in the past year to cover the cost of health services, according to a study published Wednesday.
The New York Center for the Studies of Immigration published a document examining six neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens — where immigrants are most at risk of health problems — to find out the causes, including a survey of nearly 500 of their residents.
The organization indicated that 37% of the immigrants surveyed needed health services in the past year, but did not receive them. The three most common reasons are that they don’t have health insurance, they can’t afford it, or they can’t take time off from their responsibilities.
Another notable data from the report was that about 25% of immigrants in the sample reported living with food insecurity, and 29% claimed they had reduced their basic expenses to pay for health services in the past year.
It also revealed the difference in perception between medical providers who work with migrants and migrants themselves about barriers to accessing those services.
While medical providers most often indicated that it represented a language and cultural barrier, something the immigrants themselves also mentioned, they indicated that they were more concerned with cost and experienced discrimination based on race and nationality.
The organization noted that many of the city’s health and social services programs are open to all residents, regardless of legal status, but acknowledged that immigrants still face financial barriers and are excluded from some insurance.
The document also notes that only 29% of uninsured respondents have heard of NYC Care, a public program that offers free or low-cost medical services to those who do not qualify for or cannot afford insurance, so it encourages authorities to improve their communications. EFE
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