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Int J Circumpolar Health. 2012 Mar 19;71:17346. doi: 10.3402/IJCH.v71i0.17346.

Sami-speaking municipalities and a control group's access to somatic specialist health care (SHC): a retrospective study on general practitioners' referrals.

Author information

1
Northern Norway Regional Health Authority, NO-8038 Bodø, Norway. jan.norum@helse-nord.no

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

The Sami people constitute the indigenous people in northern Norway. The objective of this study was to clarify whether they have a similar supply of somatic specialist health care (SHC) as others.

METHODS:

The referrals from general practitioners (GPs) in the primary health care (PHC) in the administration area of the Sami language law (8 municipalities) were matched with a control group of 11 municipalities. Population data was accessed from Statistics Norway and the time period 2007-2010 was analysed. The main outcome was the number of referrals per 1,000 inhabitants according to age group, gender and place of living.

RESULTS:

504,292 referrals in northern Norway were indentified and the Sami and control group constituted 23,093 and 22,541 referrals, respectively. The major findings were a similar referral ratio (RR) (1.14 and 1.17) (p = 0.624) and women more commonly referred (female/male ratio 1.45 and 1.41) in both groups. GPs in both groups were loyal to their local hospital trust.

CONCLUSION:

Inhabitants in Sami-speaking municipalities in northern Norway have a similar supply of SHC services as controls. Inter-municipal variation was significant in both groups.

PMID:
22456052
PMCID:
PMC3417552
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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