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Salud Pública de México

Print version ISSN 0036-3634


HERNANDEZ-AVILA, Juan E et al. Geographical coverage of the Mexican Healthcare System and a spatial analysis of utilization of its General Hospitals in 1998. Salud pública Méx [online]. 2002, vol.44, n.6, pp.519-532. ISSN 0036-3634.

Objetive. To describe the geographical coverage of the Mexican Healthcare System (MHS) services and to assess the utilization of its General Hospitals. Material and Methods. A Geographic Information System (GIS) was used to include sociodemographic data by locality, the geographical location of all MHS healthcare services, and data on hospital discharge records. A maximum likelihood estimation model was developed to assess the utilization levels of 217 MHS General Hospitals. The model included data on human resources, additional infrastructure, and the population within a 25 km radius. Results. In 1998, 10,806 localities with 72 million inhabitants had at least one public healthcare unit, and 97.2% of the population lived within 50 km of a healthcare unit; however, over 18 million people lived in rural localities without a healthcare unit. The mean annual hospital occupation rate was 48.5 ± 28.5 per 100 bed/years, with high variability within and between states. Hospital occupation was significantly associated with the number of physicians in the unit, and in the Mexican Institute of Social Security units utilization was associated with additional health infrastructure, and with the population's poverty index. Conclusions. GIS analysis allows improved estimation of the coverage and utilization of MHS hospitals.

Keywords : geographic information systems; coverage; utilization; health services; Mexico.

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