Psychiatric Quarterly [psaq] ph077-psaq-361308 April 2, 2002 8:18 Style ﬁle version Nov. 19th, 1999
Psychiatric Quarterly, Vol. 73, No. 2, Summer 2002 (
HISPANIC ACCESS TO HEALTH/MENTAL
Pedro Ruiz, M.D.
Currently, the Hispanic population of the United States is growing very
rapidly. Despite the signiﬁcance of this growth and the fact that it is
expected that Hispanics will be soon the largest ethnic minority group in this
country, the access to health/mental health care for the Hispanic population
is rather limited. Many factors are currently affecting the Hispanics’ access
to health/mental health care services. Among them, cultural and language
barriers, insufﬁcient numbers of Hispanic manpower in the health care
professions, low educational and socioeconomic levels, the high number of
uninsured Hispanics, and ethnic and racial prejudices and discrimination. In
this commentary, I address the factors that interfere with the Hispanics’ access
to health/mental health care, and advance recommendations geared to alleviate
and/or resolve this critical problem.
KEY WORDS: Hispanics; access to care; mental health care.
Hispanics are one of the fastest growing ethnic minority groups
in the United States. In this context, Hispanics include all of the
Hispanic subgroups that primarily reside in this country such as
Dr. Ruiz is Professor and Vice Chair in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral
Sciences of the University of Texas Medical School at Houston, and an Associate Editor
for Psychiatric Quarterly.
Address correspondence to Pedro Ruiz, M.D., 1300 Moursund Street, Houston, Texas
77030; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
2002 Human Sciences Press, Inc.