Access to Health Care and Health

Those of us who have health coverage are much more likely to have access to regular health care, including health screenings and other preventive services that can help us avoid chronic disease. But transportation, language, and cost are also factors in accessing health care. Even if we have health insurance, it may not cover enough of the costs to make it possible to regularly access needed healthcare services. Access can be limited if we aren’t able to get to doctor’s appointments or can’t communicate with our healthcare provider.

Source: Santa Clara County Public Health. "Santa Clara County Public Health. Health and Social Equity in Santa Clara County.” 2011. (accessed February 5, 2014)

Access to comprehensive, quality health care services is important for the achievement of health equity and for increasing the quality of a healthy life for everyone. Disparities in access to health services affect individuals and society. Limited access to health care impacts people's ability to reach their full potential, negatively affecting their quality of life. Barriers to services include lack of availability, high cost and lack of insurance coverage.  These barriers to accessing health services lead to unmet health needs, delays in receiving appropriate care, inability to get preventive services and hospitalizations that could have been prevented.

Source: Healthy People, 2020 Topics and Objectives. Access to Health Services.  (accessed July 1, 2015)

Other SDOH

Neighborhood Conditions

Additional SDOH Resources

Center for Health Statistics
Minnesota Department of Health
Golden Rule Building, 3rd Floor
85 East Seventh Place
PO Box 64882
St. Paul, Minnesota, U.S.A. 55164-0882
E-mail: *

Updated Monday, April 25, 2016 at 03:42PM