Access healthcare is a critical part of a healthy lifestyle and ensures people get the medical care they need. It is more than just having health insurance and knowing what to do if you’re sick, but also being able to access healthcare services that are close by or easy to get to. This includes patient care, emergency services, and preventive services.

Whether or not patients can access healthcare is a complex topic that encompasses both the supply and demand sides of the equation. There are a wide variety of factors that can impact access to healthcare, including availability, affordability, and physical accessibility. In addition, adequacy and acceptability are also important to consider when looking at the overall concept of access to healthcare.

Many barriers to access healthcare can be overcome by providing the right kind of care in the right locations at the right time. However, ensuring that patients are able to find these resources can be challenging in a world where there is increasing pressure on hospitals and health systems to limit their revenue and focus on value-based care.

To help address this issue, some authors have proposed that the dimensions and determinants of access to healthcare be framed in terms of a continuum. This conceptualisation allows a definition of access that is consistent across all stages of the process of obtaining and utilising healthcare services, while integrating both demand and supply side factors. This framework has been referred to as the Five A’s of access as conceived by Penchansky and Thomas. access healthcare

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