Skip to main content
Geographic accessibility to primary care providers: Comparing rural and urban areas in Southwestern Ontario
The Canadian Geographer
  • Tayyab I. Shah, Western University
  • Andrew F. Clark, Western University
  • Jamie A. Seabrook, Western University
  • Shannon Sibbald, Western University
  • Jason A. Galliland, Western University
Document Type
Publication Date
URL with Digital Object Identifier

This research examines geographical accessibility to primary care providers (PCPs) across urban and rural areas of Southwestern Ontario and examines variations in the distribution of PCPs in relation to the senior population (aged 65 years and older). Information about PCP practices was provided by the HealthForceOntario Marketing and Recruitment Agency. Population data were obtained from the 2016 Census of Canada. To calculate scores for accessibility to PCPs (i.e., PCPs/10,000 population), we applied the enhanced 2‐step floating catchment area method with distance decay effect within a global service catchment of 30‐minute drive time. A geospatial mapping approach revealed disparities in the distribution of PCPs with a pattern of higher spatial accessibility in or around major urban areas in Southwestern Ontario. Comparative analyses were performed in association with the seniors’ population to identify how accessibility scores were mismatched with the population needs. The outcome of this study will assist researchers and health service planners to better understand the distribution of existing PCPs to address inequalities, particularly in rural areas.

Citation Information
Tayyab I. Shah, Andrew F. Clark, Jamie A. Seabrook, Shannon Sibbald, et al.. "Geographic accessibility to primary care providers: Comparing rural and urban areas in Southwestern Ontario" The Canadian Geographer Vol. 64 Iss. 1 (2019) p. 65 - 78
Available at: