Primary health care accessibility for rural Otago: "A spatial analysis"

Nasser Bagheri, George L. Benwell, Alec Holt

Research output: Contribution to journalOther Journal Articlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


This research aims to develop a new approach for measuring spatial accessibility to primary health care (PHC) services. New Zealand and World Health Organisation (WHO) rules were used to determine optimum levels of minimum travel time to the closest PHC facilities via a road network. This analysis was applied to 1200 census areas (meshblocks) defined according in the 2001 Census for rural Otago, New Zealand. A two-step floating catchment area (FCA) method was used to calculate spatial accessibility based on travel time. The mean centre of population distribution within each meshblock polygon was used as patient locations The initial results of this study have shown that some parts of north and central Otago do not meet WHO rules and New Zealand health guidelines (during business hours). The paper illustrates the use of the "accessibility index" as a tool to model the level of accessibility of people to PHC. The spatial accessibility index ranged from 1 to 10, with 1 representing very low accessibility and 10 representing high accessibility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalHealthcare Review Online
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2006
Externally publishedYes


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