Ethnic inequalities 'minimal' in primary care

Ethnic minority populations do not have poorer access to primary healthcare services, a study suggests.

Professor James Nazroo of the University of Manchester and his colleagues examined differences in use of health services and health outcomes in ethnic minority groups in England.

They found minimal inequalities in access to primary care services and outcomes for hypertension, raised cholesterol and diabetes (the three conditions their research studied).

The authors acknowledge that inequalities may exist for other conditions and other health settings. However, they said, their findings suggest that ethnic inequalities in healthcare are minimal within NHS primary care.

‘Publicly funded primary care with universal access has resulted in greater equality of access to and outcomes of care across the main ethnic groups,' said Professor Nazroo. ‘It's a vindication of the NHS and the principles that underpin it.'

The study has been published online in Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

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