Hispanics are less likely to see a doctor or other health professionals regularly than other ethnics groups. The
data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality is startling. Half (47 percent) of adult Hispanics
reported that they did not see a doctor in 2008, compared with 29 percent of adults in other ethnic groups.
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Why is there such a gap? One reason is the lack of health insurance. One in three, or 33 percent, of Hispanics
under age 65 did not have health insurance coverage in 2009, according to the Centers for Disease Control
Another is language. Nearly half (49 percent) of Hispanics who are not comfortable
speaking English do not have a regular source of health care, compared to two-thirds (63 percent) who are
fluent in English, according to AHRQ data.
To address these problems, AHRQ and the Ad Council have created a new Spanish language campaign called
Conoce las Preguntas, or Know the Questions. Through TV, radio, print and Web ads, the new campaign
encourages Hispanics to get more involved in their health care and to talk with their doctors.
For example, one ad shows a middle-aged man with a backache asking for treatment advice from his barber, a
woman in a Laundromat, and a friend at the gym. Each offers different—and sometimes conflicting—remedies:
use heat to relieve the ache, use cold, and exercise. Finally, in the last part of the ad, the man asks his doctor
what he should do about his aching back.
The PSAs also offer tips to help Hispanics prepare for medical appointments by thinking about questions to ask
during doctors' visits. Additional tips include talking to the doctor about all symptoms, habits, and treatments;
making sure you understand what your doctor tells you; and following instructions about medicines or follow-
up visits. The PSAs direct audiences to visit AHRQ’s Spanish-language Web site at www.ahrq.gov/preguntas
for important health information.