Using location-allocation models to aid in the locating of preventive health care facilities for Newfoundland & Labrador

Forsey, Weldon Brett (2014) Using location-allocation models to aid in the locating of preventive health care facilities for Newfoundland & Labrador. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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The province of Newfoundland and Labrador is facing unprecedented demographic change. The population is aging at a faster rate than in any other province in Canada, and this is leading to dramatically increased costs to the province’s health care system. One way to help alleviate the rising costs of health care is to promote preventive health care. Preventive health care can save lives and contribute to better quality of life by diagnosing serious medical conditions early. Unlike services for those who have urgent medical needs, preventive health services are intended primarily for healthy people who are less willing to travel long distances to access services. For this reason preventive health services, such as mammography units, require different locational decision methodology than other types of health care (Gu & McGregor, 2010). This research provides a methodology to locate preventive health care facilities efficiently while ensuring spatial equity in distribution of services. Spatial equity refers to the locating of services for individuals equitably regardless of where they live. To achieve this, a variation is presented on the traditional maximal covering location problem that incorporates equity into location-allocation (LA) modeling. Using custom developed LA software, the variant algorithm is used to locate mammography facilities as a representative type of preventive health services for the island of Newfoundland. The solution set is compared to the locations of the current mammography program, which will show that the facilities of the province are well located. The results are compared to those of other models and shown to be the best in terms of equity in service delivery. This study also helps demonstrate that LA models are an effective tool in public facility planning, especially when evidence-based decision making is important.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 8287
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 101-107).
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Geography
Date: October 2014
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Newfoundland and Labrador
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Preventive health services--Utilization--Newfoundland and Labrador; Preventive health services--Newfoundland and Labrador--Management; Resource allocation--Newfoundland and Labrador; Preventive health services--Location--Newfoundland and Labrador

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