Carol Propper, John A. Rigg and Simon Burgess
Published June 2005
There is emerging evidence to suggest that initial differentials between the health of poor and more affluent children in the UK do not widen over early childhood. One reason may be that through the universal public funded health care system all children have access to equally effective primary care providers. This paper examines this explanation. The analysis has two components. It first examines whether children from poorer families have access to general practitioners of a similar quality to children from richer families. It then examines whether the quality of primary care to which a child has access has an impact on their health at birth and on their health during early childhood. The results suggest that children from poor families do not have access to markedly worse quality primary care, and further, that the quality of primary care does not appear to have a large effect on differentials in child health in early childhood.