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JAMA. 1989 Jan 13;261(2):278-81.

Access to medical care for black and white Americans. A matter of continuing concern.

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  • 1Department of Health Policy and Management, Harvard University, Boston, MA.


A 1986 national survey of use of health services shows a significant deficit in access to health care among black compared with white Americans. This gap was experienced by all income levels of black Americans. In addition, the study points to significant underuse by blacks of needed medical care. Moreover, blacks compared with whites are less likely to be satisfied with the qualitative ways their physicians treat them when they are ill, more dissatisfied with the care they receive when hospitalized, and more likely to believe that the duration of their hospitalizations is too short.

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