Baltimore Works To Get Latinos Appropriate Medical Care

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Latinos are the fastest growing ethnic group in the country and in Baltimore.  But many of them are not getting the medical care they need.

Andrea Fujii explains the city is trying to fix the problem. 

At Baltimore Medical System’s Healthy Living Center, thousands of Latinos with no insurance receive care.  But there are many others who go without.

“It’s a big challenge for us because a lot of the Latino community they don’t speak English,” said Flor Portillo, health care worker.

To help, the city just released its first ever Latino Health Report.

“This report can serve as a public health tool to help efforts in advancing the health of the Latino community overall,” said Dr. Oxiris Barbot, City Health Commissioner.

It found that between 1990 and 2008 the overall city population declined by 13 percent, but Latinos increased by 50 percent, bringing the Latino population to more than 17,000.  But experts agree it’s really probably double that.

There are challenges to getting accurate information, including language and cultural barriers, plus the fear of undocumented status.

Portillo provides medical care to Latinos and knows the biggest obstacle.

“It’s harder for them because sometimes they don’t have insurance,” she said.

Besides lack of insurance, the report found binge drinking, homicide and accidental death are the leading causes of death.

Those who work with Latinos say they hope the city will work together to help them with the care they need.

“We don’t think that it is only an issue affecting Latinos. It really affects everybody because we live together,” said Angelo Solera, Latino Providers Network.

The report also found good news.  Latinos have lower infant mortality rates, and fewer Latinos smoke compared to Baltimore’s total population.

  • Cathy

    How about the white americans who have lost jobs and have no insurance,iI for one went to social services to get help,they said I make to much money,I get unemployment 298.00 a week.but they are trying to help every other race,what is wromg with this picture.

    • ciara

      I’m living with no insurance. I was laid off 3 months ago and get unemployment. I can’t afford COBRA insurance. I need a job and insurance. Why are they worrying about the Latinos who have baby after baby. Stop catering to the illegals. LEARN ENGLISH OR GO BACK TO YOUR COUNTRY.

    • peek-a-boo

      interesting….your rhetoric sounds familiar, but the name is different….hmmmm…..

  • sh

    How about helping the CITIZENS of Baltimore!

  • MEL

    What the HELL has happened to our State and our Country? Where is the assitance for the LEGAL WORKING AMERICANS ?

  • Shannon

    Maryland sadly does not look after the hard working AMERICANS/BALTIMOREANS they are more concerned with illegal immigrants who cannot speak English. Every other immigrant who came to America learned the language and got jobs what the hell happened to that idea???? And yet we keep electing these liberal morons!!!

  • Maggie

    This is absolutely absurd. There are so many citizens in our State that go without food and basic healthcare. These same people are the ones who have paid their taxes. When they need assistance the State turns them away for one reason or another. I’m not heartless but we need to take care of our own citizens first. We couldn’t go to another country illegally and get any benefits. Maryland has become a welfare State for people who don’t want to work or illegals. When is this craziness going to stop? What taxes will be raised to pay for this medical care?

  • willy joe

    I know for a fact these Moolies with nothing get everything if they don’t own property. They should be given birth control & close their squat little legs. Some use the hospital E.R. as their primary care doctor. The blacks & Hispanics are notorious for not owning anything but gaming the system while poor working families make too much & can’t afford health insurance. It should be medicare for all with a single payer program.

    • Peek-a-boo!

      Oh, there you are!!! LOL! I knew you’d come out you silly little willie.

  • ShadowDancer

    Will the legislature and O’Malley ever hear what the VOTERS are saying, the taxpayers? We do NOT want Maryland to be an east coast sanctuary state.
    Didn’t the petitions to allow the citizens to repeal the subsidizing of the illegals’ college education send a strong enough message. The next one will be to oust any and all that sponsor this type of legislation from office.

  • Kimberly Blackwell

    i guess americans are chopped liver they sure as heck cant or wont help us get insurance but theyll help the latimos,free loaders,towel heads,and the mexicans now yall understanding why president obama needs to be assinated or impeached!!!

  • RavenLude

    i guess the free health care they receive clogging the ER’s at Franklin Square Hosp and Bayview Hosp as if the ER doctors were their family physicians isn’t enough. good job baltimore city……u are on the verge of bankruptcy and the city budget has been mismanaged by incompetence for decades. great idea flushing more money down the toilet

  • baltimore sucks

    I have been a Maryland taxpayer for over 30 years. I was recently laid off. I have no insurance. Why don’t they help the citizens that has been here all their life instead of these illegals that don’t believe in birth control. The welfare needs to stop giving to them and they would stop having all those babies.


    It is insane that so many working or able-bodied CITIZENS can not afford health insurance. I mean, how blind is our governing body????? And their big concern is the welfare of a group of people who won’t even learn the language even in order to help themselves???? What the heII? This is poor judgment at best and complete chaos, in all reality. DO THE MATH. It is terrifying. I don’t care what color your skin is, I don’t care what your first language is… I DO CARE if you take food, shelter, jobs and health care away from people who are here LEGALLY…. away from MY FAMILY!

  • Vicki Kuntz

    Dear Gov. OMalley and President Obama
    I have a fix to your budget issues. I know how you can get more money to spend on your other frivolous ventures ! Make all of the illegals who have been mooching off of our welfare and school system and make them learn English and make them tax paying citizens. that will make it so they are not eligible for welfare (so we can actually use it for people who are tax paying citizens and CANT get a job) and make them pay a percentage of the taxes that they haven’t paid all those years they were here illegally as kind of an entry fee for citizenship. Im not sure why the concept of illegal immigration is so hard to control. In other countries they lock you up or shoot you if you cross the border illegally. So whats the problem???

  • Sarge2914

    F’ing unbelievable! My son graduated from college, cannot find a job, has no , and is living hand to mouth, taking any job he can find for a day, a week, etc. I thing the Latino’s know some English, but they get by real well from pretending to not understand English, not know how to pay taxes, not know how to stop standing on corners drinking and smoking dope, and getting paid under the table and paying no taxes. Too bad they have no insurance. They shouldn’t have been allowed here in the first place if they had no income and no way to support the 20 people they brought with them in the van. Hello — Mr. Mayor,, taking take of your own! This is the most bizarre thing I have ever heard. Shame on you Mr. Mayor!

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