Rural Communities Lack Public Health Care Resources [Barrier: Location/Access to Care, Cost of Care, Health Care Inequity]

In this article from April 11, 2023 on PBS News Hour entitled After a rural California hospital closes, farmworkers pay the price the author discusses how rural farmworkers are deeply negatively impacted by their location and lack of access to health care. The article discusses one person’s situation

“Villa is a farmworker in an impoverished area of Tulare County, located in California’s rural San Joaquin Valley, where his eleventh-hour diabetes diagnosis is just one indication of a health crisis within the greater farmworker community. He’s one of hundreds of thousands of low-wage employees in California who grow and harvest the nation’s food, yet are commonly overburdened with chronic disease.”

Also, the article discusses the wider problems:

“According to the Farmworker Health Study, published earlier this year following in-depth interviews with more than 1,200 farmworkers across California, between one-third and one-half of farmworkers surveyed suffer from chronic diseases, including diabetes and hypertension. The vast majority are considered either overweight or obese. 

Many of these conditions are linked to “social determinants of health’ including socio-economic status, lack of access to primary care and health insurance coverage, cultural and linguistic barriers, transportation, affordable housing, legal status, and other factors,” the authors write. Paradoxically, food deserts and low wages also commonly reduce farmworkers’ access to fresh fruits and vegetables.”

Published by Sarah Buckius

Artist & Educator living in Santa Cruz, CA.

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