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Learning the Language of Health Care

April 11, 1993

On March 31, there appeared on the editorial page an article by Ms. Adela de la Torre ("Access Is Vital in Health Reform") covering the subject of health care for the Latinas in our country, specifically those who are not English-speaking.

She writes: "One step in providing empowerment for Latinas and others who have historically been marginalized is to insist that health professionals have appropriate language skills. . . ."

It seems to me she is suggesting that doctors, nurses and other health providers learn Spanish. I think Latinas should learn English--not only in order to facilitate any health care they require, but also realizing that by so doing they ensure a much brighter future for them and their children in every aspect of life in this country.

To emphasize that care-givers learn Spanish rather than Latinas learn English seems to me a rather convoluted theory.

HAZEL H. SCHWAB

San Juan Capistrano

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