Access to Hospitals

Disparities in the geographic accessibility of health care services arise due to the manner in which people and facilities are arranged spatially. Specifically, health care services are provided at a finite number of fixed locations, yet they serve populations that are continuously and unevenly distributed throughout a region. Inequalities in geographic access to health care result from the configuration of facilities, population distribution, and the transportation infrastructure. In recent accessibility studies, the traditional distance measure (Euclidean) has been replaced with more plausible measures such as travel distance or time. Both network and raster-based methods are often utilized for estimating travel time in a Geographic Information System. Therefore, exploring the differences in the underlying data models and associated methods and their impact on geographic accessibility estimates is warranted.