By Lisa Rapaport
(Reuters Health) - People with disabilities may have less access to care and worse health outcomes than individuals without physical or mental challenges, two recent studies suggest.
One study found that people with disabilities in the UK have worse access to care largely due to struggles with transportation, costs and long waiting lists for appointments. The other study was done in the U.S. state of Ohio and found people with disabilities were more likely to have unmet medical needs and less likely than others to have a primary care physician.
"We expected to find disparities, but we anticipated that they would not be too wide," said co-author of the UK study
Dr. Dikaios Sakellariou, a researcher at Cardiff University.
"It was also surprising that cost appeared to have such a big impact on people's access to care, especially in England," Sakellariou said by email. GetFreebs.com
That's because the British National Health Service (NHS) generally provides free care, except for medication, he said.
Roughly one in five people in the UK live with a disability, researchers note in BMJ Open.