Document Detail

Geographic distribution of healthcare resources, healthcare service provision, and patient flow in Japan: A cross sectional study.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22920275     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Healthcare systems in developed countries are facing the challenge of dealing with changing social structures as a result of rapidly aging populations. This study examines the relationship among the geographical distribution of healthcare resources, healthcare service provision, and interregional patient flow in Japan. A cross-sectional study was performed using data from healthcare-related public surveys conducted in 2008, together with social, economic, and environmental variables. The geographical units of analysis were 348 Secondary Healthcare Service Areas, which provide and manage most healthcare services in Japan. The equity of the distribution of physicians among hospitals and clinics was evaluated using the Lorenz curve and the Gini coefficient. Multiple regression analysis was used to examine the relationships between the inpatient flow ratio and selected variables. Next, the 348 Secondary Healthcare Service Areas were divided into tertiles according to the inpatient flow ratio, and differences among these variables were examined using Bonferroni's correction for multiple comparisons. The Gini coefficient for physician distribution among hospitals was 0.209 and was 0.165 among clinics. Multiple regression analysis showed that hospital physician density, the elderly ratio, and hospital bed density were all correlated with the inpatient flow ratio (β = 0.396, -0.576, 0.425, respectively; R(2) = 0.622, all ps < 0.001). Healthcare resources were significantly more scarce in the lowest tertile (outflow group) than in other groups in both hospitals and clinics. The provision of healthcare services was also imbalanced among tertiles. Our results imply that there is a need for reconstituting the geographical distribution of healthcare resources in Japan. Further research and healthcare-related databases are also needed to facilitate the creation of a more balanced geographical distribution and of a more effective healthcare system in Japan.
Daisuke Shinjo; Toshiharu Aramaki
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2012-8-4
Journal Detail:
Title:  Social science & medicine (1982)     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1873-5347     ISO Abbreviation:  Soc Sci Med     Publication Date:  2012 Aug 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-8-27     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8303205     Medline TA:  Soc Sci Med     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Department of Management Assistance, Welfare and Medical Service Agency, 4-3-13 Kamiyacho, Toranomon, Minato, Tokyo 105-8486, Japan.
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