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New Study: Minorities Face Health Care Challenges

A lack of minority doctors and nurses is one of many challenges facing certain ethnic groups in California. That’s the finding of a new report out of UC Berkeley.

Perfecto Munoz is a researcher with the California Program on Access to Care at UC Berkeley. He says they studied the largest minority groups in the state: Latinos, Asians, Pacific Islanders, African-Americans and Native Americans. And they found a real lack of doctors and nurses from some minority groups. Munoz says that presents a challenge.

“Many of these families are looking for someone who understands their culture and how they view their health,” says Munoz.

Munoz says the groups studied face issues such as language barriers, access to care and a higher prevalence of diabetes, obesity and asthma.

The report also found that Latinos lack health insurance at more than twice the rate of any other ethnic group in the state. Munoz says he hopes lawmakers will use the research to improve access to care for all Californians.

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