Compared to documented citizens, undocumented immigrants are faced with many hurdles and obstacles in regard to medical care. For migrants that have been deported or need medical repatriation, finding proper care could involve case managers, lawyers, and hospitals. Medical professionals face their own share of challenges on a typical day, but when it comes to undocumented immigrant medical care, different challenges arise that make it difficult for both medical personnel and patients to reach a successful outcome.5 Situations Medical Personnel Face with Undocumented Immigrants
When it comes to undocumented immigrant medical care, doctors, other medical personnel, and patients face difficult issues. Here are just 5 of many.
1. Language Barriers
This one is probably the most obvious. Even someone who is familiar with another language might not know all the nuances of the language like someone who’s fluent. Because English is the predominant language spoken among all United States medical personnel, this leaves room for incorrect information being transferred, improper or lack of communication, and/or not proper understanding of the patient.
2. Cultural Barriers
Much like language barriers, it might be difficult to consider all aspects of a patient’s culture when treating them or communicating with them. Cultural beliefs in regards to health vary widely and might be very different from what US healthcare is used to. From how a patient’s own blood is treated to various alternative treatments that may be used, there is a lot to consider when it comes to undocumented immigrant medical care.
3. The Uncertainty of The Law
Because undocumented immigrants are not legal citizens, they don’t have access to medical services like other Americans. However, the 4th amendment of the US Constitution protects against unreasonable search and seizure. This means that medical personnel cannot ask about a patient’s documentation status. They cannot report it, either.
4. Lack of Cooperation
A patient who is not familiar with the law might stay silent out of fear of being reported or other legal troubles. But ultimately, this puts the patient’s health at risk. Silence could lead to misdiagnosis, as medical professionals might perform the wrong testing or procedures.
5. Lack of Training
Unfortunately, it is not common for healthcare professionals to be thoroughly trained in the customs and preferences of other cultures. This is not at the direct fault of the healthcare practitioner. So when there is the issue of a language barrier, for example, a healthcare worker might misstep or assume incorrectly.
Working to avoid these issues when it comes to undocumented patients
It is tough to completely avoid the 5 issues mentioned above, but self-education is key. Any doctor who familiarizes themselves with other cultures and practices is already ahead of the game and is on their way to providing their best care.
When it comes to undocumented immigrant medical care, you can trust the experts with Allista. They are heavily experienced in finding health care treatment for migrants that have been deported or need medical repatriation. They work alongside both medical and legal personnel to ensure each patient is cared for properly and thoroughly.