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This paper reports on the answers given by 100 Hispanic residents of East Los Angeles, California to questions dealing with why they themselves, their families and people in general did not receive proper health care. As has been found in other studies, the reasons considered as most important by the subjects were the high cost of health services, the lack of medical insurance, being undocumented, lack of child care, long waits and difficulties in speaking English. Cultural reasons such as a preference for curanderos, fear of physicians or modesty were not considered as important as some authors have proposed. When respondents were asked why they themselves had not received services they needed,- most of them mentioned causes that were related with the health delivery system while when explaining the behavior of others they utilized internal factors such as laziness. In this sense, the respondents viewed the issue of underutilization of service in the same fashion as some researchers where the responsibility is placed on the individual and not on the health delivery system even though they mentioned problems with the system as the most significant reasons for why they themselves and people in general don't receive the medical attention they require.


This work was published by the Interamerican Society of Psychology