Vulnerable Populations

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Vulnerable Populations


January 9, 2012

Vulnerable Populations

The health care sector of the United States economy will continue to grow for two main reasons: (1) growth in population mainly immigration, and (2) aging of the population, especially as the baby boom generation starts to hit retirement age in 2011 and beyond. In this country alone it is estimated that there is more than 30 million immigrants/refugees and is continuously growing. Many immigrant/refugee populations have high rates of chronic health issues, due to the lack of getting adequate social and health care services. This population is separated from the health care system because of factors: race, culture, economic, geographic and even health attributes. Racial, ethnic minorities, the rural and urban poor, illegal immigrants, and people with disabilities or multiple chronic diseases are considered vulnerable populations. The division of immigrant/refugee population causes concern for not seeking the proper medical care which can cause possible harm to their own health as well as others around them in their community. Access to health care, racial and ethnic individuals fall below Non-Hispanics and Whites due to residential division, demand of health care providers/facilities because of language and cultural barriers between doctors/ patients relationship and vice versa. Employment patterns or the lack of also can led to a decline of employer insurance coverage for some of these groups included in the vulnerable population. Isolation because of geographic and economic factors make seeking specialized care for some of the poor/rural individuals in that community even though they have insurance can be very problematic. Laws against having health care coverage on employees, fears of being found out or deported and language barriers play a role that block the vulnerable population for seeking medical care.

The most common issue facing the immigrant/refugee population is obesity along...