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Inequalities in health care and health status Inequalities in health care have resulted in disparities in health status The impact is particularly evident amongst social class V who suffer from lower life expectancies Townsend 1992 There is consistent evidence that those in social class V are more likely to be exposed to multiple environmental risks that portend adverse health consequences They are more likely to encounter pollution noise substandard quality housing and crowding Typically lower class working conditions leave labourers open to greater physical danger Heavy lifting or tasks with repetitive strain plus daily contact with toxins fumes dust etc have a negative impact on health Townsend 1992 A GP in an affluent area typically provides a superior service than one in a working class locality Smaller patient lists allow for longer and swifter access to appointments Walters 1980 resulting in greater doctorpatient relations Townsend 1992 Twice as many middle class patients are referred to hospital and are more likely to be visited there by their GP The combination of a GPs likely additional qualifications and greater direct access to x-ray equipment and scanners for those living in affluent areas results in quicker and more accurate diagnosis Walters 1980 Geographically there is an uneven distribution of hospitals and resources within Britain with higher numbers in the South which is paradoxically inverse to the higher concentration of social class V inhabiting the North Further there is a greater distribution of teaching hospitals in the South with more staff of all levels available than non-teaching hospitals A higher proportion of middle class patients are sent to teaching hospitals than working class Walters 1980 Private health care is quintessentially solely afforded by the middle class Pinker 1988 Private patients will have choice concerning the date of admission receive care immediately regardless of urgency have greater attention paid to medical tests and from their consultant Private patients admitted to an NHS hospital exacerbate the
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