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Examining access to GP services in rural Ireland using microsimulation analysis

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This paper analyses the effect accessibility has on General Practitioner (GP) utilisation rates at the sub-national level for Ireland. Specifically, the aim of this paper is to estimate whether there is an urban–rural differential in GP utilisation rates. We do this by simulating micro-level healthcare data. Using this synthetic data, simple logit models are employed to estimate the likelihood that individuals in different jurisdictions will attend a GP surgery. These individual logit estimates are then inputted into a spatial interaction model to highlight areas with low GP accessibility given their health status. The policy implications of these results are discussed in relation to both the healthcare literature and current Irish healthcare policy.

Keywords: accessibility; rural healthcare; spatial interaction models; spatial microsimulation

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Rural Economic Research Centre, Teagasc, Athenry, Republic of Ireland, Email: 2: University of Leeds, School of Geography, Leeds LS2 9JT 3: University of Sheffield, School of Geography, Sheffield S10 2TN

Publication date: September 1, 2008

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