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Cultural Medicine Distracts from National Health Literacy
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By: Dee Richards Email Article
Word Count: 596 Digg it | Del.icio.us it | Google it | StumbleUpon it

  

Traveling in other countries offers many unique experiences. Yet, at some point in the day, you will take a break from your cultural extravaganza. Resting, you may still wish to continue absorbing some foreign culture, working to assure that you increasingly understand the nuances your experience. Television with subtitles in English is a great tool with which to continue to see images, hear the original language, and read translations. Some systems are better than others regarding the speed and quality of translations. However, making the effort to take on the foreign environment while engaging considerable effort honing your language skills takes you closer to a native experience and is appreciated by the local population. Taking personal responsibility for such learning is simply a laudable attitude versus that of expecting all around you to translate everything for you.

If rather than visiting, you have moved to a foreign country for an extended period, if not emigrated, there are two primary questions to consider. For the country into which you have moved, do you contribute so much to their society that they should translate everything for you, or could you convince those who would pay for such services for you that there is sufficient ROI for them to do so? And, if such convincing arguments cannot be made, are you willing to engage in and pay for your own language and important cultural skills development?

Radio Bilingüe was the first Latino radio network in the United States. Enjoying twenty-four-hour daily programming, listeners across all elements of North America could learn about many issues, opportunities, products, and services deemed important for the diverse audiences targeted by the broadcaster. As a private corporation, it could also determine what content merited commercial support versus that which it could provide as public services. Radio Bilingüe (RB) persists and its audience may be as broad as its funding agents are numerous. Functioning in the U.S., a country with global economic outreach, it is clear that many of RB’s current funding sources see its listeners as potential customers, whether American citizens or foreign nationals. However, American taxpayer-sponsored investment should only fund the marketing of basic medical systems. The information should direct new and existing Latino citizens to work with local medical resources, and should also encourage audiences to develop enhanced English literacy to optimize utilization of available medical services.

No one would question the wisdom of a restaurant that does not attempt to be great in all things, for all possible patrons, including not creating menus in all dialects spoken around the world. But, maybe because state and federal budget debts are already so unfathomably large, proponents of "separate medical programs for everyone", as designer Cultural Medicine, do not see the costs of these programs as being real dollars or funding of such to be their responsibilities or concerns. Our national health care systems cannot be all-inclusive, international smorgasbords. Designer label, newly created, Cultural Medicine, would open the doors to everyone, suggesting that no individual proclivity, no imaginable service, no sense of entitlement, no group that can muster culture-oriented, no one that can muster media recognition should be without special service provision, regardless of costs. At least, such is what many would wish for and for which they would publicly demonstrate, so long as someone else pays for it.

As the national language is English, promote learning it, enhancing national literacy all around. Promote and invest in English-based Heath Literacy, not distracting Cultural Medicine.

We have professional training in medicine and public health. We also have extensive practical experience in medicine, integrative health, fitness, nutrition, education and a number of other subjects.

1)www.myhealthprograms.org

2)www.greenintegrativemedicine.wordpress.com

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