Some Methods for Measuring the Geographic Accessibility of Medical Services in Rural Regions

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Abstract

This paper presents two complementary measures of geographic access to medical care in rural regions that necessitate only modest information inputs on the location of services and client populations. An application for the Abitibi- Temiscamingue region in the Province of Quebec, Canada, is used to illustrate the types of product yielded by the measures. These include mapped patterns of potential accessibility by rural community and a graphic display of the delivery system's potential effectiveness in 'reaching' distant consumers. The relevance of the measures to the planning of medical care provision in rural areas is discussed, as is their extension through disaggregation and improvement of data inputs.

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