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Views And Reviews Primary Colour

Helen Salisbury: The inverse care law in the digital age

BMJ 2019; 364 doi: (Published 30 January 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;364:l308
  1. Helen Salisbury, GP
  1. Oxford
  1. helen.salisbury{at}
    Follow Helen on Twitter: @HelenRSalisbury

A GP friend of mine has a relative in a distant city who is affected by a severe, long term mental health condition. He has evening carers who visit to make sure that he eats at least one good meal a day. They require parking permits, which have to be ordered from the city council. Here the problems begin.

The process is online only and involves filling in a form and attaching multiple documents. My friend asked the council, “What happens if this person doesn’t use the internet?”

“That’s OK—they can get help with that at the library or Citizens Advice.”

“And if they’re housebound?” …

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