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Planning for Renewal: Mapping PHC in BC (2005)

Planning for Renewal: Mapping PHC in BC (2005)

UBC Centre for Health Services and Policy Research, Vancouver (BC) (2005)

The use of maps to understand health and illness dates back, most famously, to 1859, when Dr John Snow traced a cholera outbreak to a single water pump in London. Since then, maps have been used to systematically study the geographic aspects of health and its determinants.

For health care policy makers, managers and practitioners, geographical mapping provides a powerful tool for identifying the factors that affect the health of populations. Health status can be viewed in relation to population settlement patterns, local social and economic conditions, surrounding social and health services, and the natural environment. Services can then be better planned and delivered by combining this new information with existing knowledge of the factors that influence health and health care services use.

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