Britain's Asians are a young population and their socio-economic\ud status is low, with racial disadvantage in housing, employment,\ud education and health. Research on their health has usually not\ud been conducted in its socio-economic and demographic context and\ud there is little on their use of primary care. Three studies were\ud conducted to investigate their relationship with primary care in\ud Bradford. A study of general practice attenders of white/British,\ud Pakistani and Indian origin confirmed the demographic and\ud socio-economic differences between the groups. The former had\ud higher rates of alcohol and cigarette consumption. For Pakistanis\ud and Indians, fluency and literacy in English was poor. Ethnic and\ud linguistic match between doctor and patient was more important in\ud patients' choice of doctor than the doctor's sex. Differential\ud employment status of Asian and white/British accounted for some of\ud the differences in health. A study of general practice attendance\ud showed similar rates of surgery consultations between Asians and\ud Non-Asians; the latter made greater use of domiciliary services.\ud Both these studies were conducted in an inner Bradford health\ud centre with an Asian male, a white male and a white female doctor.\ud Bradford GPs were found to perceive that Asian patients made\ud greater use of surgery and domiciliary consultations; attended\ud more often for trivial complaints; and had lower compliance rates\ud than Non-Asians. These perceptions were not supported by objective\ud data. Better qualified GPs had a smaller, and Asian doctors had a\ud greater proportion of Asian patients on their lists. Research, and\ud action on Asians' health, needs to take account of their poorer\ud socio-economic status.Yorkshire Regional and Bradford District Health Authority
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