Regional Distribution Disparities of Healthcare Resources in Greece

  • Christos Gogos
  • Eleni Papadopoulou
  • Ioannis D. Doukas
  • Magda Tsolaki
Keywords: health services, spatial disparities, access, health care utilization


Health is a social good while access to health care is a fundamental human right. Access to or exclusion from urban resources such as health care structures is a key issue for socio-spatial inequality, while their space distribution is associated to infrastructure and health service facilities proximity. This paper investigates issues pertaining to the regional disparities of health resources in Greece. According to the study results an uneven distribution of health infrastructures and health care human resources appears to evolve as a permanent structural feature of the Greek health system. The geomorphologies of the country, coupled with the inadequate policy incentives for health care stuffing, in the period of economic crisis from 2010 are determining factors of the health care system contracting. Inequalities in the distribution of health resources, with a tendency to concentrate on the wider areas of the two metropolitan cities of Athens, the capital, and Thessaloniki, the second largest city, are related to limited access to health care. Data processing and analysis provides evidence depicted in statistical tables and presented via thematic maps produced by the use of Geographical Information System (GIS) application. The scarcity of health resources on the other hand requires prudent management. Regional development policies focusing on spatial planning and proper location of health infrastructures and services promote equal access to health services and social justice.