Spatial Equity and Healthcare Access in the COVID-19 Pandemic

TitleSpatial Equity and Healthcare Access in the COVID-19 Pandemic
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsSritart, H, Taertulakarn, S, Kanbara, S, Miyazaki, H
Conference NameProceedings of the 6th International Conference on Medical and Health Informatics
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Conference LocationNew York, NY, USA
ISBN Number9781450396301

Healthcare facilities around the world become overwhelmed by the number of infected coronavirus patients that needed to be treated during the COVID-19 outbreak, resulting in medical staff and healthcare services shortages. Regarding to understand and minimize the inequalities in healthcare services, it is crucial to evaluate the available healthcare resource, particularly the intensive care unit (ICU) beds that are critical for the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, this study aims to explore and determine the spatial distribution of the confirmed COVID-19 patients and the healthcare capacities in the province of Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand. Applying the GIS platform with the data analysis of 2SFCA (Two-Step Floating Catchment Area) based approach, we emphasize the spatial distribution of both patients and healthcare resources in the study area. The spatial accessibility index regarding the physicians and ICU beds was determined and highlighted in each district. Additionally, the vulnerable regions were identified by the level of healthcare accessibility. We believe this study offers valuable insight in gaining a better understanding and supporting effective response activities toward pandemic resilience.