Latinos Finally Have Access to Telemedicine
The nurse at the hospital assured Jose Aquila that if he returns tomorrow, they will have a Spanish speaking interpreter or maybe even a Latin care provider. With Spanish as the second most spoken language in the country, it’s not hard to understand Mr. Aguila’s confusion and frustration at being turned away from health care because of language.
To be fair, the nurse did offer Mr. Aguila an immediate appointment with a doctor, an Anglo-Saxon doctor. Mr. Aguila refused and told the nurse that this doctor would never understand his “Latino illness”. In spite of her trying to communicate that there is no special “Latino Illness,” Aguila refused. He simply did not trust the white doctor to understand him as a man, much less his illness
This tale is hardly unique, almost all Latinos have similar stories. The lack of communication skills between Latino patients and care providers is only part of the issue confronting Latinos seeking healthcare around the nation. It is also the false social characterizations and the warped views that somehow these are a population not deserving of more but will do with less. Such a purview when providing care actually breeds mistrust, however well intended.
“It’s a cultural thing,” said Dr. Vince Holland, “health and maintaining good health is understood differently in Latino communities, and even though I am not familiar with their mind-sets, I know it’s to their detriment. Just look at the high rates of Diabetes.”
“These American doctors don’t know us,” explained Mr. Aguila. “They don’t know our family’s or lifestyles or what motivates us, they don’t even know what we eat. They assume we are just like other people and I guess we are, but we are also different, we are Latinos.”
That point of view is reflected throughout the Latino community and is worn with an element of pride, albeit that its practice widens the gap of acceptance and understanding between Anglo and Latino communities. More specifically, it harms the availability of healthcare, because it limits access to only Latino physicians.
That’s where telemedicine provides access to Spanish speaking doctors who generally emanate from a Latin country. Finally, the barriers of communications are destroyed, and a sense of sacredness rather than resentment and uncertainty ensues between the doctor and the patient. Video consults only enhance the meaningfulness of the consult.
Telemedicine is new to the Latino community because nationally speaking, focus on Latino healthcare did not include advances in e-health and telehealth conveniences. Telemedicina Latina. Com, a subsidiary of US tele-Medicine, has launched a Spanish only telemedicine service in Michigan.
The Latino community in Michigan has a population of 500,000 and were vastly ignored by e-health initiatives being offered in the state. Michigan is a very pro-telemedicine state requiring insurers to pay for telehealth consults in the same manner they would reimburse a face-to-face medical consult in a doctor’s office. In fact, deductibles are often not considered when patients seek telemedicine consults.
In addition to its immediate and appointment-based telemedicine practice, Telemedicina Latina has formulated dozens of vitamins and supplements commonly used by Latinos in their home countries and now available here in the states. These products are available at wwww.telemedicinalatina.shop. Focus has been on quality, organics and certified products delivering only the best benefits for its consumers.
Again, here too Latinos have been largely excluded from the supplement market yet are avid users of all sorts of supplements.
With winter just around the corner, coping with colds, flus and winter related medical issues will be quantifiably simpler now for Latinos in Michigan. No more indignity of waiting two weeks or more to see a doctor. No more bother or expense in money and time just driving to a doctor’s office and then waiting in some room with really sick people.
Now it’s just picking up a smart phone, engaging an app or coming on line and having a video consult with a doctor whenever you need one.
Telemedicine is especially effective for those with chronic physical diseases such as diabetes, COPD, heart issues or obesity, and mental issues such as depression, anxiety and phobias. These are issues that need constant monitoring and what could be easier than calling a doctor and checking every two or three weeks as you need to or as instructed? Constant monitoring is the key to betterment of every disease and better management of drugs, diets or change of life.
It is no longer an ordeal to deal with diseases, not in this technologically advanced time of our lives. Telemedicine provides freedom and an opportunity to seize on good health for the entire family.
Patient in Michigan should call 888-TELEMED or visit the Telemedicina Latina web site, to secure a medical consult.
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