Why immigrants are less likely to seek medical attention

Mexican immigrants in Chicago rushed to the hospital after avoiding medical attention for their loved one. The man suffered from undiagnosed diabetes and unfortunately his toes were turning black. Only after the man could not take the suffering any longer, did the family take him to get help. It was discovered that his foot was infected with gangrene and required immediate amputation.

The family did not have legal papers allowing them legal permission to live in the country. Had their fears not held them back, they could have avoided the amputation and received the diagnosis earlier. However, the fears are real and strong for many immigrant families living in America.

Undocumented and documented immigrants alike share a scale of fear when seeking medical attention or signing up for any type of benefits that ask for personal information. It is a reality that holds many people back from quality healthcare and preventive medicine. Stricter immigration policies increase the fear of deportation.

Hospitals are not immigration offices

Many healthcare workers want to make it known that they are not affiliated with immigration offices. Some clinics place signs or advertise online that they treat all people, regardless of their legal status in this country. It is important for people and families to feel safe getting medical help for any reason. Avoiding healthcare checkups or emergency medical attention, only prolongs the suffering for the individual and family unit.

Fear of deportation may easily raise the level of other negative health factors, including:

  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Panic attacks
  • High blood pressure

People living in constant fear and what that could mean to their families are often in the most need of medical help. It is an unfortunate reality for many people across America. Immigrants of all legal status need to know their rights and how they are protected. Seeking help through a legal professional is one of the best ways to find security in an unsecured government system.

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