MEASURING SPATIAL ACCESSIBILITY TO HEALTHCARE FACILITIES IN ISFAHAN METROPOLITAN AREA IN IRAN
Keywords: Spatial Accessibility, Healthcare Facilities, Fuzzy Analytic Hierarchy Process, Two-Step Floating Catchment Area, Isfahan
Abstract. Appropriate spatial accessibility to healthcare facilities is an important component of the efficient delivery of healthcare. This study aims to measure spatial accessibility to healthcare facilities in Isfahan Metropolitan Area, a rapidly growing megacity in Iran. We used two methods of population-weighted fuzzy analytic hierarchy process and the two-step floating catchment area (2SFCA) to measure spatial accessibility to urban healthcare facilities, including hospitals, pharmacies, clinics, and laboratories. The results of these two methods were compared. Not surprisingly, the center of Isfahan has the highest accessibility scores for healthcare facilities, and the peripheral areas of the city have the lowest levels. Despite the existence of higher numbers of healthcare facilities in northern parts of Isfahan, accessibility to healthcare facilities is low because of the large population. Both methods show that healthcare services are not evenly distributed in Isfahan. Some areas with a high population have low accessibility to health facilities. Ideally, these areas would be prioritized for future health infrastructure investment. The methods used here can help urban healthcare policymakers identify spatial inequalities in access to care and thus target the areas in need.