This paper reviews the research evidence on access to health care by ethnic minority populations, and discusses what might need to be done to improve access to services. Research on the process of care, and the quality of care received, is considered as well as studies examining uptake of services. Changes in legal context are increasing the pressure on healthcare organisations to examine and adapt their services to ensure equitable access. Examples presented include a new UK population cancer screening programme. The main challenges for clinicians, managers, and policy makers in ensuring equitable access are discussed.