Access to Primary Care for Persons Recently Released From Prison
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We aimed to determine if a history of recent imprisonment affects access to primary care. Using patient roles, we telephoned to request an initial appointment with all family physicians (n = 339) who were accepting new patients in British Columbia, Canada. We sequentially assigned patient scenarios: male or female recently released from prison; male or female control. Controls were 1.98 (95% CI, 1.59-2.46) times as likely to be offered an appointment compared with persons recently released from prison, with an absolute risk difference of 41.8% (95% CI, 31.0-52.5). Our study suggests discrimination is a barrier to primary care for people released from prison, even with universal health insurance. We need to improve access to primary care during the high-risk period following prison release.
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