Spatial Assessment of Accessibility to Public Healthcare Services: A Case Study on Accessibility to Hospitals in Shiraz

Fatemeh Rahimi, Rita Rezaee, Ali Goli

Abstract


Introduction: Unfair distribution of healthcare services is one of the most important issues all over the world. The present study aimed to determine the distribution pattern of available hospital beds and the accessibility pattern to hospitals in Shiraz.

Methods: This was an analytical study. At first, spatial distribution pattern of available hospital beds was determined using Moran’s Index (Moran’s I). Then, the accessibility pattern to hospitals was determined using Euclidean distance and network travel distance metrics. Allof the analyses were conducted using Arc GIS (10.3) software.

Results: The results revealed that available hospital beds had a random and unbalanced distribution pattern in Shiraz based on Moran’s I (Moran’s I=-0.05). Besides, according the achieved standard service areas for the existing hospitals, calculated by using Network analysis tools, 65.47% of Shiraz population was underserved in terms of accessibility. Furthermore, assessment of accessibility patterns resulted from both types of applied distances, indicating that in most cases hospitals were located in the central parts of the city.

Conclusion: According to the results of the present study, distribution of hospitals in Shiraz was unfair. Therefore, policymakers are suggested to plan in order to increase the number of Shiraz hospitals. They are also recommended that they should give priority to establishing new hospitals in areas without standard accessibility over areas with standard accessibility based on the results of the present study.

Keywords: Accessibility, Available bed, Hospital, Moran’s index, Network analysis, Spatial pattern


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