Infrastructure Engineering - Research Publications

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    The role of GIS in the management of primary health care services
    The application of Geographic Information Systems with health has been relatively slow to develop in Australia. The aim of this paper is to show the role that a GIS can play in the management of Divisions of General Practice (GP). We are proposing to use GIS to allow data in General Practice to be analysed visually through desktop mapping as a way of developing a Practice profile. Most of the research projects in this area in western countries are at this stage of development. The favourable conditions in Victoria, Australia (due to the amount of complete digital data bases) allow us to be more ambitious. Thus the aim of the project presented through this paper is not only to reach a visual representation of the spatial health data but to explore the potential of GIS in the following issues: • the combination of health data with other data such as the location and characteristics of private services related with health, • spatial and thematic queries, • sophisticated spatial analyses related with the optimal distribution and location of the practitioners, • simulations regarding the actual and future demand, and • optimal routing Two Divisions of General Practice, one in rural Victoria and one in the metropolitan area of Melbourne, are being used in a pilot study. The data and results presented in this paper are related to these settings.