Ethnic disparities in access to care in post-Apartheid South Africa

Type Journal Article - American Journal of Public Health
Title Ethnic disparities in access to care in post-Apartheid South Africa
Volume 98
Issue 12
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2008
Page numbers 2272-2277
Objectives: We investigated ethnic disparities in obtaining medical care among the 4 major ethnic groups (Blacks, Whites, Coloreds [i.e., those of mixed race], and Asians) in post-apartheid South Africa.

Methods: Data for the study came from the 2002 Afrobarometer: Round II Survey of South Africa. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were used to examine differences across racial and ethnic groups in how often respondents went without medical care.

Results: A total of 40.8% of Blacks and 22.9% of Coloreds reported going without medical care at some point in the past year, compared with 10.9% of Whites and 6.9% of Asians. Disparities were found not only in health but in education, income, and basic public health infrastructures. Sociodemographic characteristics and perceptions regarding democracy, markets, and civil society were similar for Blacks and Coloreds and for Whites and Asians.

Conclusions: Fourteen years after the end of apartheid, Blacks and Coloreds in South Africa are still underserved and disadvantaged compared with their White and Asian counterparts, especially regarding health care.

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