One of the latest findings has revealed that 56 percent of resettled Bhutanese in California have reported to have suffered from at least one stress-related symptom such as body ache, headache or intrusive memories.
A need assessment survey carried among resettled Bhutanese in Oakland and Alameda by the Bhutanese Community in California (BCC) in collaboration with Asian Health Services and San Francisco State University’s Asian American Studies department, pointed out such a fact.
Titled as ‘Barriers vs. Bridges’, the survey report was conducted among 91 families, most respondents living with their spouses and children in working-class neighborhoods in Oakland or the nearby suburb of Alameda. Nearly, all have arrived in California after 2007.
According to the report, come to 70 percent have already received their US Green Cards, and have become permanent residents, while 23 percent still continue their refugee status.
The report said, self-reported health insurance and medical utilization rates were high: 83% reported having insurance, predominantly publicly funded programs like Medicaid, and 86% having seen a physician within the past year. In contrast, only 11% have seen a dentist.
The findings have also figured out that top barriers to health care access included wait times during clinic visits (70%), length of time to book an appointment (58%), language barriers (37%) and transportation (37%).
Over 70 percent of the respondents were happy to announce that they have been getting an interpreter in clinic who could speak their language, and satisfaction was higher with in-person interpretation than with phone interpretation.
Meanwhile, the survey findings also highlighted that only 58 percent people were employed, and of those with a job, only 34 percent worked full-time while 20 percent received any benefits such as health or dental insurance.
“Of the survey respondents reporting both household size and income range, about two thirds report incomes below the federal poverty line (FPL) for their household size,” stated the survey report, conducted between 2011 and 2012.
The reported also recommended that English as a Second Language (ESL) classes must be readily accessible to adult refugees as well as their children, and interpretation and service navigation were essential to provide access to health care and social services.
BCC was formed in 2011 as the result of the merger of two previously existing organizations, the Bhutanese American Community Center (BACC) and the Bhutanese Community Support Organization in America (BASCO), according to its President Jiban Subba.