Providing the evidence: Geographic accessibility of maternity units in New Zealand
Public health planners should be providing evidence to the public that maternity units are fairly distributed. This research demonstrates how a Geographical Information System (GIS) can be used to provide information on travel time to the closest maternity unit from the 38 000 population census enumeration districts in New Zealand. The distribution of accessibility is mapped and regions and population groups that appear under-serviced are highlighted. We conclude by stating that GIS accessibility models provide important evidence for health policy and that the information generated from these models should be routinely produced for a wide range of health services and communicated to the public.