health care

Members of Local Immigrant Community Demand Better Access to Health Care for the Undocumented, Interpretation Services

Hartford HealthCare representatives say they system aims to serve everyone in the community through a Neighborhood Health Program.

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Members of the local immigrant community are raising their voices, demanding better access to health care.

Members of the local immigrant community are raising their voices, demanding better access to health care.

About 20 people marched in a rally in downtown Hartford Wednesday morning, demanding changes from Connecticut health care systems.

The movement is called “Make the Road Connecticut,” and the demonstrators are taking steps to demand better access to health care for undocumented immigrants and Spanish-speakers.

“I do have uncles and family members that are undocumented, and they’re not able to go to the hospital,” Sheyla Rivera, of Hartford, said.

They are concerned that health care barriers could lead to risks for Connecticut Latinos.

“Some members of my family when they go to the to the to their appointment, they don't have the special person to translate, and those words in the medical story, we don't understand,” Teresa Rosario, of Hartford, said.

With Wednesday’s rally, the group launched a campaign called “Access to Health Without Barriers.”

The demands of the movement include: better access to health care for the undocumented population; more interpretation services at appointments; financial assistance for people without health insurance prior to billing; and multicultural sensitivity training for staff at all clinics and hospitals.

Demonstrators are presenting their demands to the North Hartford Triple Aim Collaborative. NHTAC brings together partners from health care, government, and nonprofit sectors, with the aim of improving health services.

NBC Connecticut reached out to the Collaborative and its members for comment.

A spokesperson with Hartford HealthCare wrote in a statement: “Improving access to care for everyone is something we’re focused on- and why we launched Neighborhood Health one year ago.”

This video provided by Hartford HealthCare highlights that program, where teams go into communities in mobile “Care Vans,” offering services, medical referrals, vaccinations and prevention services at no-cost to patients.

With their march, Rivera and the other demonstrators hope to pave new paths to care for local immigrants.

‘We're totally open to collaborating more,” Brigith Rivera, Make the Road Connecticut organizer, said. “This isn't a call out, it's more of a call in. Because at the end of the day, all we're trying to do is to make sure that people are getting the health care that they need, in the best possible manner.”

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