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Design For Health

Healthcare Access

The issue of healthcare is one of the most talked about issues in the U.S. and access to healthcare is an important concern in many communities. The existence of a healthcare facility in a community does not always equate with it being accessible to the broader population, however. Many factors affect the degree to which a given facility is used, including but not limited to: the availability of insurance, range of services that are provided, personal preferences for a doctor, and accessibility from a transportation perspective.

While planners may be able to address healthcare access through improving transportation-related services and enhancing the population’s knowledge of what types of facilities are located where, they have little control over the other issues noted above. This issue of transportation is important, however, and recent research on transportation access to healthcare draws on methods from geography to address facilities planning and accessibility.

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