Health Disparity and Structural Violence
According to the article, research has demonstrated a broad range of factors that influence the risk of diabetes which is an epidemic problem in the U.S. especially among immigrants.
The article however covered three basic fear factors that prevent immigrants from seeking for medical care.
Firstly, money concerns and constraints. Based on study, participants discussed how cost limits access to medical care. Without resources, immigrants are unable to obtain the proper health care they need to treat or prevent diseases like Diabetes. The fear of cost can be understood as a form of violence that is something experienced by people who have the required resources.
The second fear is fear of deportation. Participants in the study expressed strong sentiments regarding discrimination that immigrants face on a daily basis. Discrimination often takes the form of tacit disapproval on the part of the receptionist in health care settings who makes immigrants look like burdens or makes them ashamed of their inability to communicate. Combating this discrimination is difficult, especially as it is a deeply rooted social construct that is embedded in American political and social discourse.
Third fear is about the inability of participants to discuss their usage of traditional remedies to treat their health problems, including diabetes. This so called cultural disconnect over the use of alternative medicines is a common experience for immigrants in a healthcare setting. The fear that results from cultural disconnect reduces a patient’s ability to receive proper medical care and further put the patient at risk when they do seek the care. Obviously, these fears are valid and exist.
However it is unclear the extent of their existence and what promotes them. The study was conducted in a small community that lacks enough exposure to community health.