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Access, treatment and outcomes of care: a study of ethnic minorities in Europe

  • Original Article
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International Journal of Public Health



Recent research has shown that ethnic minorities still have less access to medical care and are less satisfied with the treatment they receive and the outcomes of the health care process. This article assesses how migrants in Europe experience access, treatment and outcomes in the European health care systems.


Data were obtained from the QUALICOPC study (Quality and Costs of Primary Care in Europe). Regression analyses were used to estimate the access, treatment and outcomes of care for ethnic minorities.


In several countries, migrants experience that the opening hours of their GP practice were too limited and indicate that the practice was too far away from their work or home (lower access). They are more likely to report negative patient–doctor communication and less continuity of care than native patients (worse treatment). In addition, they are less satisfied with the care they received and are more likely to postpone care (worse outcomes).


In general, migrants are still disadvantaged during the health care process. However, our results also indicate that satisfaction with the health care process improves for second-generation migrants in comparison with first-generation migrants.

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This article uses data collected within the QUALICOPC (Quality and Costs of Primary Care in Europe) project, which was co-funded by the European Commission under the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007–2013) under Grant Agreement 242141. The authors thank their partners in the QUALICOPC project for their role throughout the study and their coordination of the data collection: University of Ljubljana, Hochschule Fulda, Sant’ Anna school of advanced studies, NIVEL (Dutch research institute of health care) and RIVM (National Institute for Public Health and the environment). Furthermore, we would like to thank the national coordinators for their cooperation and support during the fieldwork and data collection. At last our gratitude goes to the QUALICOPC study participants for their time and contribution to this study.

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Correspondence to Lise G. M. Hanssens.

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Compliance with Ethical standards

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments of comparable ethical standards. Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Conflict of interest

Lise G. M. Hanssens declares that she has no conflict of interest. Jens Detollenaere declares that he has no conflict of interest. Wim Hardyns declares that he has no conflict of interest. Sara J. T. Willems declares that she has no conflict of interest.

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Hanssens, L.G.M., Detollenaere, J., Hardyns, W. et al. Access, treatment and outcomes of care: a study of ethnic minorities in Europe. Int J Public Health 61, 443–454 (2016).

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