Objective: To determine whether residents from deprived Amsterdam neighbourhoods report more contacts with their general practitioner (GP) than other residents.
Design: Face-to-face health interview survey.
Methods: Data on two previous months' contacts with GPs and on background characteristics came from a survey among Amsterdam residents aged 16 years and above (n = 5,121; response: 61.4%). Deprived neighbourhoods were defined as having low mean incomes and high unemployment rates.
Results: Residents with a private health insurance from deprived neighbourhoods contacted their GPs significantly less frequently. The contact frequency of persons with compulsory health insurance depended on the definition of deprived neighbourhood: with the preferred definition they contacted their GPs more frequently (0.31/year, 0.49 adjusted for age and gender). This higher contact rate was partially connected with family composition, country of birth, occupational status and chronic psychiatric complaints.
Conclusion: Quantitatively, residents from deprived Amsterdam neighbourhoods contribute relatively little to the higher workload of Amsterdam GPs; this study gave no information on qualitative aspects. However, Amsterdam residents with compulsory health insurance appeared to visit their GPs more frequently than the Dutch average, and those from deprived neighbourhoods even 9% more.