Lifestyle: Gypsies lose out in health stakes

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The Independent Online
Gypsies and travellers are among the least healthy people in Britain and have little access to NHS services, new research claims today.

Their record of life expectancy, infant mortality, accidents and chronic diseases was significantly worse than that of house-dwellers, according to Dr Derek Dawes, a lecturer in housing policy at the University of Bristol, who argues in a new book that the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act has worsened the already comparatively poor health of travelling people. Gypsies and travellers were unable to register with GPs, leading to an increased incidence of chronic disease among children and adults, as well as poor ante-natal care and little health education. Dental health was at the level of "almost criminal neglect", Dr Dawes said.

"Gypsies, travellers and the health service: A study in inequality", is available from The Policy Press, University of Bristol.

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