Living In a Regional Area: Access, Utilisation and Health Care Quality
Le, Q and Auckland, S and Nguyen, HB and Terry, D and Hoang, H, Living In a Regional Area: Access, Utilisation and Health Care Quality, International Journal of Innovative Interdisciplinary Research, 2, (1) pp. 20-32. ISSN 1839-9053 (2013) [Refereed Article]
Copyright 2013 Australian Multicultural Interaction Institute
Primary health care plays a significant role in the well-being of individuals and communities, yet access to these services can vary. Factors such as socio-economic status and location of residence can impact this access. A study was conducted to investigate the relationship between location, utilisation, quality and health outcomes of primary health care services in the Meander Valley municipality of Tasmania, Australia. This paper reports the findings of the study which adopted a mixed-methods approach with multiple sources of data including government reports, survey questionnaires and interviews. The regional socio-economic disadvantage reflected not only the health disparities and poorer health conditions, but also the affordability to seek care. This was compounded by the lower levels of available health services and private health insurance. The lack of local services or their low quality was the main motivation for many to seek care outside of the region, which was unaffordable and at times logistically impossible. On the basis of the findings, a number of recommendations are provided to guide the current and future health care services and to improve the well-being of the Meander Valley community.
Availability, accessibility, accommodation, affordability, acceptability, health care, rural, socio-economic status