The patient's ability to obtain medical care, including medicines, and a measure of the proportion of a population that reaches appropriate health services, including medication. The ease of access is determined by such components as the availability of medical services and their acceptability to the patient, the location of health care facilities, transportation, hours of operation and cost of care. Barriers to access can be financial (insufficient monetary resources), geographic (distance to providers), organisational (lack of available providers) and sociological (e.g., discrimination, language barriers). Efforts to improve access often focus on providing/improving health coverage.
A synonym for the preferred term: accessibility