A survey of general practice in the London borough of Lambeth was analysed to discover how the distance from a patient's home to a medical facility affects the utilisation of that facility. It was shown that distance has a negative effect on utilisation for all population groups except men aged 15 to 64. The effect was especially marked for women, for the elderly, and for Social Classes III, IV, and V, which are the groups with highest utilisation rates. Some diagnostic groups singled out for analysis showed the same effect. These results are related to other studies and to an economic theory seeking to explain patterns of demand.
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