Equity was a general principle upon which the NHS was founded. This study examines the extent of one type of equity (spatial equity) in health care provision over different geographical areas within one Welsh health authority. Its aims are to identify the health needs of the residents, the level of NHS secondary health care services in Mid Glamorgan and the relationship between needs and provision. Thus the research will show whether spatial equity exists in the distribution of secondary health care in Mid Glamorgan. Need and provision are measured through a number of variables in order to capture their different aspects. 'Ideal' measures of need and provision are put forward. In practice some are difficult to operationalise and substitutes are used. The indicators of need fall into the categories of demography, social and ill health; and provision indicators into inputs (resources) and outputs (services produced with the resources). The variables are expressed as rates of the population, and converted into indices to enable comparisons of need and provision.There are some indications of equity between need and provision variables. For example, Rhymney had provision which was in line with its need, as shown by the variables for the under 5s, the birth rate and low birth weight; Merthyr & Cynon's provision was closely related to its need as represented by the social variables. Comparison between the average of total need and total provision variables suggests inequity in secondary health care in Mid Glamorgan: Merthyr & Cynon, Ogwr and Taff-Ely had over provision, whilst Rhondda and Rhymney had under provision.
|Date of Award||Sep 1996|