Evaluating the inequality of medical service accessibility using smart card data

Xintao Liu, Ziwei Lin, Jianwei Huang, He Gao, Wenzhong Shi

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The measurement of medical service accessibility is typically based on driving or Euclid-ean distance. However, in most non-emergency cases, public transport is the travel mode used by the public to access medical services. Yet, there has been little evaluation of the public transport system-based inequality of medical service accessibility. This work uses massive real smart card data (SCD) and an improved potential model to estimate the public transport-based medical service accessibility in Beijing, China. These real SCD data are used to calculate travel costs in terms of time and distance, and medical service accessibility is estimated using an improved potential model. The spatiotemporal variations and patterns of medical service accessibility are explored, and the results show that it is unevenly spatiotemporally distributed across the study area. For example, medical service accessibility in urban areas is higher than that in suburban areas, accessibility during peak periods is higher than that during off-peak periods, and accessibility on weekends is generally higher than that on weekdays. To explore the association of medical service accessibility with socioeconomic factors, the relationship between accessibility and house price is investigated via a spatial econometric analysis. The results show that, at a global level, house price is positively correlated with medical service accessibility. In particular, the medical service accessibility of a higher-priced spatial housing unit is lower than that of its neighboring spatial units, owing to the positive spatial spillover effect of house price. This work sheds new light on the inequality of medical service accessibility from the perspective of public transport, which may benefit urban policymakers and plan-ners.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2711
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2021


  • Accessibility
  • Inequality
  • Medical service
  • Smart card data

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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