Analyzing spatiotemporal accessibility patterns to tertiary healthcare services by integrating total travel cost into an improved E3SFCA method in Changsha, China

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

23 Scopus Citations
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Original languageEnglish
Article number103541
Journal / PublicationCities
Online published28 Dec 2021
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022


Accessibility is an essential indicator for measuring the effectiveness and equity of transport and public health services. However, previous studies neglect the effects of monetary costs for evaluating access to healthcare services. Therefore, this paper attempts to analyze the spatial accessibility patterns to healthcare services by integrating the total travel costs into an improved enhanced three-step floating catchment area (E3SFCA) method. Firstly, we adopt the explanatory factor analysis to compute the attractiveness coefficient by considering healthcare service capacities and qualities. The total travel cost under the private car and public transport modes are then determined by the integration of both real-time travel times and monetary costs during the journey, expressed in time. Notably, the real-time travel times under two travel modes are collected from the open-source route planning application program interface. Following that, the healthcare service catchment area thresholds are determined based on the results of frequency distribution of travel time under each travel mode, and the corresponding Gaussian impedance functions are produced. Based on the improved enhanced three-step floating catchment area (E3SFCA) method, Changsha, China's empirical case study is conducted to verify and investigate the accessibility between 189 subdistricts and 25 tertiary hospital locations at six different time periods in a working day under both the private car and public transport modes. The results suggest that the accessibility distribution shape reflects a circular diffusion centered on the central urban areas. The accessibility to tertiary hospitals is inadequate and regionally unbalanced in Changsha with respect to population allocations, especially during peak hours. Moreover, the private car mode is superior to public transport in most areas of the city. These findings may provide new insights for city planners and policymakers in terms of equity evaluations of medical resource accessibility and site allocations.

Research Area(s)

  • Equity, Healthcare services, Improved E3SFCA method, Spatiotemporal accessibility patterns, Total travel cost