How New York area pharmacies' failure to provide translation and interpretation service prevents immigrant New Yorkers from receiving quality medical care and stands in clear violation of local, state and federal law.
The 2000 Census reports that 47% of all New York City households speak a language other than English in the home, and one out of every four New Yorkers do not speak English at all. As the City's demographics have shifted over the years, complaints about access to health care for immigrants have intensified.
In particular, immigrant New Yorkers have suffered from inadequate translation and interpretation services at New York City's numerous pharmacies for many years now. During the Summer and Fall of 2007, Spanish-speaking members and organizers from Make the Road New York spoke with dozens of Limited English Proficient (LEP) residents in Brooklyn and Queens to learn more about their experiences trying to obtain medications at New York City pharmacies. In addition, community-based organizations from the New York Immigration Coalition's Health Collaborative shared stories about how their members also experienced problems accessing pharmacy services in a language they could understand.
Make the Road New York! Latin American Integration Center and Make the Road by Walking celebrated the announcement of their merger at SEIU 32BJ's Auditorium on Wednesday, September 19, 2007 to a packed audience. Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, joined us to celebrate the event.