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A comparison of the health status of European Roma and Australian Aborigines

Kenneth W. Lee (Independent Researcher based in Minmi, Australia)

Ethnicity and Inequalities in Health and Social Care

ISSN: 1757-0980

Article publication date: 17 November 2011




This paper aims to compare the health status of Roma in Europe and Aborigines in Australia, examining access to health care (both primary and long‐term), administrative and communication problems, environmental risks associated with location of residences, women's health, substance abuse and mental health.


The paper discusses issues generated by cultural practices by both health care providers and the target groups.


Both Roma and Australian Aborigines have significantly poorer health status than the majority of the societies they are embedded in, and are clearly amongst the most disadvantaged members of their respective societies. Nevertheless, affirmative action programs for Aboriginal people over the last 40 years have produced some significant changes, with Aboriginal doctors and nurses, and culturally appropriate service provision being found in many areas.


Although there are considerable similarities between the health status and situation of Romanies and Australian Aborigines, clearly, there are also substantive differences. The paper suggests possible culturally appropriate service provision for Roma, based on Australian Aboriginal experiences and models.



Lee, K.W. (2011), "A comparison of the health status of European Roma and Australian Aborigines", Ethnicity and Inequalities in Health and Social Care, Vol. 4 No. 4, pp. 166-185.



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Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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