PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2012, Vol. 31 ›› Issue (12): 1600-1607.doi: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2012.12.005

• Original Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

A two-step Floating Catchment Area (2SFCA) Method for Measuring Spatial Accessibility to Primary Healthcare Searvice in China: A Case Study of Donghai County in Jiangsu Province

Hu Ruishan1,2, Dong Suocheng1, Hu Hao3   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China;
    2. Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China;
    3. School of Geography, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
  • Received:2012-03-01 Revised:2012-08-01 Online:2012-12-25 Published:2012-12-25

Abstract: In the poor rural areas of China, the population far away from the hospitals, not having immediate access to primary care, is showing rising trend on a yearly basis. The measures to improve the spatial accessibility to primary care in the poor areas are important for achieving equality in the public healthcare system in rural regions. To accurately evaluate the variations of the accessibility to medical services is a prerequisite for rationally allocating medical resources. After reviewing the studies at home and abroad on spatial accessibility to medical services, by using the two step floating catchment area (2SFCA) method in the case study of Donghai County in Jiangsu province, and taking administrative villages and hospitals as study units, this paper analyzes the variations between the villages’levels of the accessibility to primary care based on the shortest travel time from a village to a hospital calculated by Dijkstra method. In order to investigate the spatial distribution of the areas lacking access to primary care, the authors further analyze the spatial variations of the accessibility by choosing two service time threshold values (catchment sizes). In comparison to traditional measures such as ratio of population to provider (demand to supply), distance/time to the nearest service provider and gravity model, the 2SFCA method reveals a good spatial pattern of the variations of the accessibility to primary care. When a bigger service time threshold value is used, the spatial variations tend to be smoother. When a smaller service time threshold value is used, the spatial variations become more striking and the area lacking the access to primary care expands. The spatial pattern of the variations of the accessibility to primary care in Donghai County has characteristics of a single core structure. The areas along major transportation networks have higher levels of spatial accessibility, while the remote villages and townships lack the access. Promoting the level of the hospitals of the administrative villages in the remote townships and improving the road conditions should help improve the spatial accessibility to primary care in the areas.

Key words: Donghai County of Jiangsu Province, spatial accessibility to primary healthcare service, two-step floating catchment area(2SFCA) method