Comparing spatial accessibility to conventional medicine and complementary and alternative medicine in Ontario, Canada

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Abstract

Health care investigations rarely consider conventional medicine (CM) and complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) simultaneously and spatial accessibility empirical research that incorporates both CM and CAM locations is novel. In this study, residents within municipalities of the Ontario province of Canada are compared in terms of spatial accessibility to a range of health care supplier ‘destinations’. While areas with larger urban agglomerations generally exhibit superior levels of spatial accessibility to health care and diversity in medical service choice in comparison to more peripheral areas, considerable heterogeneity in accessibility occurs in both urban and rural settings. This study's identification of subtle spatial imbalances appends the literature by more precisely qualifying the typically reported ‘urban-rich, rural-poor’ assessment of health care service condition and also reinforces the need for policy-makers to appraise health care spatial accessibility differentials as a function of both CM and CAM endowment.

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