Spatial Accessibility to Healthcare Facilities in Coastal Region of Bangladesh
Updated: Feb 4, 2022
Journal: The International Journal of Health Planning and Management, John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Niaz Mahmud Zafri
Meher Nigar Neema
Abstract: Though equal and easy accessibility to healthcare facilities are a fundamental right, people of the coastal region often get poor accessibility to healthcare facilities. This research aimed to assess the spatial accessibility to healthcare facilities in the coastal region of Bangladesh. Patuakhali district was selected as the study area. Accessibility to three levels of healthcare facilities: Community Clinic (CC), Upazila Health Complex (UHC) and District Hospital (DH) was measured individually using Geographic Information System (GIS) adopting the simple distance measures. Finally, overall accessibility to healthcare facilities was measured by overlaying accessibility to all three levels of healthcare facilities according to their relative importance. The findings of this study showed that a significant portion (70%) of Patuakhali district had high accessibility to CC; whereas, almost 60% and 40% of the area had poor accessibility to UHC and DH, respectively. Furthermore, 40% and 28% of the area of Patuakhali district had low and high accessibility to overall healthcare facilities, respectively. Furthermore, accessibility to healthcare facilities was found very poor in rural areas, char areas, and seashore. Thereafter, it is recommended to provide an UHC in every upazila and a DH in the southern part of Galachipa upazila to ensure high spatial accessibility of healthcare facilities.