Before health care reform, I was not provided with adequate language access. My name is Tot ‘Sy’ Tran and I live in New Orleans, Louisiana. I moved to this area in 1975 and have lived here since, enduring disasters like Hurricane Katrina and more recently, the Deepwater Horizon BP oil drilling disaster.
I feel my quality of care in the health settings is diminished due to the lack of competent language accessibility. There are no available interpreters or translated materials in Vietnamese for me. In addition, I feel discriminated against because of my ethnicity and inability to communicate in English. When I travel to hospitals, there are no Vietnamese-speaking doctors, only English-speaking doctors. We do not have hospitals in New Orleans East and I am already traveling a distance to the nearest hospital. I do not have the resources and time to travel even further for adequate language access.
Health care reform is important to me because it will provide me with better language accessibility. Important forms and information on health will be translated for me. Hospitals and other health settings will provide me with interpreters when needed. If there were no interpreters, I would not understand anything the doctor is telling me—things like when to take the medication and when my next visit is. Vietnamese elders like myself need interpreters, one who understands the language and can interpret back correctly. This is very important to us.