Saturday, April 23, 2005

Complaints filed in NY over limited help for non-English speaking hospital patients

On April 21, the New York Immigration Coalition and several other immigrant advocacy groups filed complaints with the New York State Attorney General because they were unable to make progress in trying tow ork collaboratively with hospital administrators to address the needs of patients with limited English speaking skills. One target for their frustration was the Greater New York Hospital Association (GNYHA).

According to the Latin American Integration Center, a small survey suggested that 28% of patients at St. Vincent's Staten Island Hospital did not receive service in a language they could understand. According to Make the Road by Walking, a small survey suggested that 85% of Spanish-speaking patients at Jamaica Hospital could not communicate with their doctor or staff.

According to a December 2004 report by PRLDEF, in April 2004, GNYHA was one of the only opponents to proposed legislation to reinforce existing law on hospitals providing interpreters to patients. GNYHA called for more funding and expressed concerned that expanded requirements would put too much of a burden on an already fragile health care system.

We could not find any recent postings on this topic on the GNYHA web site.


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