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Access to Health Services

There are significant spatial differences in the availability of health services. Urban areas typically have better access to health services than rural areas. Even within most urban environments, there are areas with a shortage of health professionals, hospitals, and clinics. These shortages often occur in high poverty areas, and the influences of varying access to health services include:

  • Access to cancer screening services.
  • Access to recent advances in cancer diagnosis and treatment.
  • Barriers to access, such as health insurance coverage, funding for Medicaid and Medicare, and funding for other public health services.
  • Demographic and socio-economic characteristics of neighborhoods such as poverty, lack of education, and cultural and language barriers.