August 10, 2016
Area(s) of Interest: Advocacy
The California Medical Association (CMA) today announced an endorsement of Proposition 58, California’s “Language Education Acquisition and Readiness Now” ballot initiative that gives local school districts and their academic staff the option of providing bilingual education.
Forty-four percent (44%) of California residents over the age of five speak a language other than English at home, and numerous studies support the need for multilingual health care providers. A 2015 report from UCLA’s Center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture found a shortage of health care professionals who have the language skills to communicate effectively with a growing number of the country’s patients. The Harvard School of Medicine also stated that mastery of a foreign language is a “valuable skill that expands intellectual and cultural horizons and that reinforces preparation for patient care in a multicultural society.”
“California needs a well-prepared and educated health care workforce that reflects our diverse society,” said CMA President Steve Larson, M.D., MPH. “Prop. 58 will break down barriers by removing outdated mandates, helping physicians provide the best patient care for all Californians.”
CMA’s Board of Trustees, which is composed of physicians elected by their peers, endorsed the measure during a July meeting. CMA has long supported diversity in physician leadership and stated in 2004 that “increasing racial and ethnic diversity among health professionals is crucial because the evidence indicates that diversity among health professionals is associated with improved access to care for minority patients, greater patient choice and satisfaction, and better health outcomes.”
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The California Medical Association represents the state's physicians with more than 41,000 members in all modes of practice and specialties. CMA is dedicated to the health of all patients in California. For more information, please visit cmadocs.org, and follow CMA on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
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.@CMAphysicans endorse #Prop58 to support/grow health care workforce that reflects California’s diverse society. http://cal.md/2baLc0q
#Prop58 will help @CMAphysicians provide the best possible patient care for all Californians: http://cal.md/2baLc0q