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Spatial disparities in the provision of rural health facilities: application of GIS based modelling in rural Birbhum, India

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The works explores the possibilities of using GIS for the government health facility centres in Murarai-I C.D.Block of Birbhum district in India. The empirical data were processed in GIS environment and principal component analysis has been carried out for quantitative inferences. The GIS application is created cover three main areas of maternal health care services which are identification of physical accessibility of each health-care units, assessment of influence zones or health service area of the government facility centre and finally, quantification of underserved scenario in service provision. Each of the issues is covered using several GIS functions including road network analysis, overlay analysis, euclidian distance, buffer and thiessen polygon analysis. ASTER-digital elevation model has been used to identify the topographical aspects of the study area. A sample of 229 cohorts and 28 health centres have been drawn through systematic random and stratified procedures on the basis of cross-sectional retrospective survey. The survey has established three principal findings. First, distance shows a strong inverse relationship with the utilization of health services in the study area. Second, comparatively higher elevated areas are characterized by smaller influence zone and under utilisation of services. Finally, the underserved score is higher in the northern part of study area. Recommendations for the location based modelling of health service provision and reduction of underserved areas at deprived periphery is depend on equity-based provision of services and proportionate distribution of health personnel along with essential transportation system.

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The first author is grateful to UGC, New Delhi, India, for providing the fellowship for carrying out the research work. This article is a part of her Ph.D. research, which has been submitted to The University of Burdwan. Authors are thankful to the Director of Health Services, Department of Health & Family Welfare, Govt. of West Bengal, Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH), Suri, and his staff for providing necessary information regarding the maternal health scenario of different C.D.Block of Birbhum District, West Bengal, India.

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Correspondence to Alokananda Ghosh.

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Ghosh, A., Mistri, B. Spatial disparities in the provision of rural health facilities: application of GIS based modelling in rural Birbhum, India. Spat. Inf. Res. 28, 655–668 (2020).

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