University of Tasmania

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The shortage-surplus paradox: a literature review of primary health care accessibility

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-17, 20:24 authored by Terry, MM, Terry, DR, Thi HoangThi Hoang, Chona HannahChona Hannah
The National Primary Health Care Strategy in Australia recommends primary health care services need to be clinically and culturally appropriate and delivered in a timely and affordable manner. However simultaneously recognised, access is still inequitable in among various population groups and many areas of Australia. Geographical Information System (GIS) have been used to explore geographical health disparities, planning health care service delivery and provide data in a meaningful way to inform public health strategies. Moreover, GIS has also been used to spatially analyse, measure and provide insight into a population’s accessibility to health care services. A literature search was conducted to identify studies which examined primary health care accessibility using GIS techniques among various urban and rural populations. A limited number of studies demonstrated in addition to distance; time; and location, low socioeconomic status, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) background among other factors influences health care access. In addition, other factors were identified to impact health care access, which is an individualised process, influenced by individual characteristics, beliefs, attitudes, and an individual’s activity space. As health care accessibility becomes more prominent within policy, among practitioners and increasingly researched, it has the potential to move beyond recognising areas of poor accessibility among individuals and communities. With a greater integration of both spatial and aspatial data, the process has the likelihood, to provide greater insight into patient behaviour, public perception, amelioration service quality and improve population health and wellbeing


Publication title

Universal Journal of Public Health






School of Health Sciences


Horizon Research Publishing

Place of publication

Alhambra, CA

Rights statement

Copyright 2013 Horizon Research Publishing

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Health inequalities

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