Spatial data play an important role in the planning of health care facilities and their allocation. Today, geographical information systems (GIS) provide useful techniques for capturing, maintaining and analysing health care spatial data; indeed health geoinformatics is an emerging discipline that uses innovative geospatial technology to investigate health issues. The purpose of this paper is to define how GIS can be used for assessing the level of accessibility to health care. The paper identifies the advantages of using GIS in health care planning and covers GIS-based international accessibility with a focus on GIS applications for health care facilities in Jeddah city, Saudi Arabia. A geodatabase that includes location of health services, road networks, health care demand and population districts was created using ArcGIS software. The geodatabase produced is based on collected data and covers issues, such as defining the spatial distribution of health care facilities, evaluating health demand types and modelling health service areas based on analysis of driving-time and straight-line distances.
geographical information systems, health accessibility, network analysis, health facilities, Saudi Arabia