The August issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases includes a report about how Mexico’s Ministry of Health relied on a text message-based survey to supplement traditional surveillance methods during the H1N1 outbreak in 2009. The speed of responses to the survey is highlighted, as are the limitations of the data collected: “Our study was limited by potential selection bias, recall bias, and inclusion of mostly young persons from urban areas.”
Text Messaging as a Supplement to Traditional Disease Surveillance
Undocumented Hispanics Less Likely to Use US Health Care Services
This brief article from HealthDay (via MedlinePlus Health News) summarizes the findings of a recent study that analyzed four specific subsets of data from the 2003 California Health Interview Survey to identify patterns in the healthcare choices and experiences of California Hispanics — patterns which are very much worth our attention here in South Texas.
The study, entitled “Health Care Access, Use of Services, and Experiences Among Undocumented Mexicans and Other Latinos,” analyzed responses from four specific subsets of the 42,000+ respondents to the 2003 CHIS: 1,317 undocumented Mexicans, 2,851 US-born Mexicans, 271 undocumented Hispanics from countries other than Mexico, and 852 US-born Hispanics from non-Mexican heritage. Results found that…
undocumented Mexicans had 1.6 fewer physician visits compared with US-born Mexicans; other undocumented Latinos had 2.1 fewer visits compared with their US-born counterparts. Both undocumented groups were less likely to report difficulty obtaining necessary health care than US-born Mexicans and other US-born Latinos. Undocumented Mexicans were less likely to have a usual source of care and were more likely to report negative experiences than US-born Mexicans. Findings were similar for other undocumented Latinos, with the exception of having a usual source of care. Patterns of access to and use of health care services tended to improve with changing legal status.
Here’s the citation for the complete study:
Ortega AN, Fang H, Perez VH, Rizzo JA, Carter-Pokras O, Wallace SP, Gelberg, L. Health Care Access, Use of Services, and Experiences Among Undocumented Mexicans and Other Latinos. Arch Intern Med 2007;167(21):2354-2360. http://archinte.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/abstract/167/21/2354
Veterans’ health care in South Texas: one goal, different paths
In recent weeks, there’s been considerable controversy over the VA’s ideas for expansion in South Texas. Here’s a sampling of some of the differing views that have been expressed in the papers: a September 11 article from the Rio Grande Guardian, one from September 21 in The Monitor, and one from August 21 in the San Antonio Express-News.
If you’re interested in the background, here’s the full text of the report they’re all citing: VA Health Care Study for Inpatient and Specialty Outpatient Services in the South Texas Valley-Coastal Bend Market.
The one thing everyone agrees on is that a 10-hour round-trip drive for care is much too far!