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

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Norum, Jan ; Nieder, Carsten (2012)
  • Publisher: Co-Action Publishing
  • Journal: International Journal of Circumpolar Health, volume 71 (issn: 1797-237X, eissn: 1239-9736)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.3402/ijch.v71i0.17346, pmc: PMC3417552
  • Subject: specialist health care | etnisk minoritet | referral | spesialisthelsetjeneste | samisk | Original Research Article | henvisning | ethnic minority | Sami, specialist health care, referral, ethnic minority | sami

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.Keywords: Sami; specialist health care; referral; ethnic minority(Published: 19 March 2012)Citation: Int J Circumpolar Health 2012, 71: 17346 - DOI: 10.3402/IJCH.v71i0.17346
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