Travel patterns for government emergency dental care in Australia: a new approach using GIS tools
Version of Record online: 30 NOV 2011
© 2011 Australian Dental Association
Australian Dental Journal
Volume 56, Issue 4, pages 389–393, December 2011
How to Cite
McGuire, S., Kruger, E. and Tennant, M. (2011), Travel patterns for government emergency dental care in Australia: a new approach using GIS tools. Australian Dental Journal, 56: 389–393. doi: 10.1111/j.1834-7819.2011.01371.x
- Issue online: 30 NOV 2011
- Version of Record online: 30 NOV 2011
- (Accepted for publication 27 May 2011.)
- subsidized care;
- oral health
Background: Government subsidized dental care is provided as a community safety-net to complement the private dental sector. The aim of this study was to detail the geographic catchment characteristics of three outer metropolitan government dental clinics.
Methods: Three outer metropolitan dental clinics with the greatest number of geocoded triage patients were selected for the study. In total these three facilities had 5742 patients over the 12-week period with 2010 at clinic A, 1278 at clinic B and 2454 at clinic C. Cumulative proportions of patients’ residential address locations at distances were calculated; there was close correlation between the three clinics. A best fit curve with a correlation coefficient of 0.998 was developed.
Results: In summary, approximately 50% of patients were within 6 km of the clinic and 75% were within 10 km.
Conclusions: This study has critical outcomes for the planning of future services in developing a network model for care. The data presented will assist in the development of more evidence-based approaches to planning new service network structures.