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Vancouver, Portland and Seattle 'need to improve health care access': UBC study

Last Updated Oct 6, 2019 at 1:31 pm PDT

St. Paul's Hospital
Summary

It's a challenge for one of three Vancouverites to use public transit to get to a hospital according to a new study

The study analyzes how accessible hospitals and walk-in health clinics are to citizens

Tran hopes the algorithm his team has developed can be used to improve the situation

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – It’s a challenge for one of three Vancouverites to use public transit to get to a hospital according to a new study from the University of British Columbia.

The study published in late September analyzes how accessible hospitals and walk-in health clinics are to citizens.

Researchers wrote a data algorithm for three of the largest cities in the Pacific Northwest, which shows Vancouver is actually doing better than Portland and Seattle in this area.

None the less, all three cities have a large numbers of citizens without easy access to health care.

“We defined good access as being able to reach at least two hospitals or three walk-in clinics within a half-hour from home by public transit or walking,” UBC professor of planning Martino┬áTran says.

“And by those standards, as much as 80 per cent of people in Portland, 51 per cent in Seattle, and 37 per cent in Vancouver, do not have good access to health care.”

Tran hopes the algorithm his team has developed can be used to improve the situation.

“A very interesting follow-up study would be to work with the authorities themselves to find out what the capacities of the hospitals and walking clinics are, to refine our results.”

Tran points out the status quo hits vulnerable groups like seniors and those with low incomes the hardest.
He says this research points to the need to further investment in transit and new health care facilities.