Equity in Primary Health Care Provision: More than 50 years of the Inverse Care Law

I guest edited a special issue of the Australian Journal of Primary Health with Dr Liz Sturgiss that reflects on more than 50 years of the Inverse Care Law.

The Inverse Care Law was first coined by Julian Tudor Hart in 1972 to refer to availability of good medical and social care varying inversely with the needs of the population served .

As we note in the editorial:

…we cannot forget the importance of income inequality as one of the primary manifestations of disadvantage. Poverty remains one of the principal determinants of how the inverse care law plays out in primary health care and it is a cross-cutting issue that affects all disadvantaged groups to varying degrees. All approaches to improve the access to primary care would benefit from specific attention to how the needs of those living in poverty are served.

The special issue includes a range of articles on the Inverse Care Law itself, Aboriginal and First Nations health, care for transgender people, access for people from culturally diverse backgrounds, and general practice. Most are open access – please take a look.


Harris-Roxas, B., & Sturgiss, E. (2023). Equity in primary health care provision: more than 50 years of the inverse care law. Australian Journal of Primary Health, 29(2), i–ii. https://doi.org/10.1071/PY23062
Tudor Hart, J. (1971). The inverse care law. The Lancet, 7696, 405–412. http://er1.library.unsw.edu.au/er/cgi-bin/eraccess.cgi?url=http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(71)92410-X