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Ethnic minorities receive equal care, says report

29 July 2009

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England’s ethnic minorities enjoy the same level of access to general practice as white people in the country, a study has shown.

Researchers found that people of an ethnic minority were no more likely to have an undiagnosed illness and just as likely to have their condition well managed.

The study also suggested that poorer levels of health among England’s ethnic minorities could be attributed to the lower socio-economic status that many occupy in the country, as opposed to a limited access to healthcare.

But the report, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, did unearth a “marked” difference in ethnic minorities’ access to dental care.

Professor James Nazroo, from the School of Social Sciences at the University of Manchester, said: “While inequalities in the care received may exist for some conditions and other health care settings, particularly internationally, the implication of our research is that ethnic inequalities in healthcare are minimal within NHS primary care.

“In other words, publicly funded primary care with universal access has resulted in greater equality of access to and outcomes of care across the main ethnic groups.

“It’s a vindication of the NHS and the principles that underpin it.”

Copyright © Press Association 2009

Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health

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