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Key Issues in Conceptualization

The definitions for access are very different in type and form. While some are very specific and precise, others are broad and vague. The specific and precise restrict or do not allow considering for aspects that in other definitions would be considered access. Most of the definitions do not clearly define concepts such as 'ease' or what entails 'possibility' of accessing health care. The differences show the lack of agreement and challenge in defining a concept such as access.


  • Accessibility: "The ease with which health services can be reached (Kelley & Hurst, 2006)".
  • Access: "Access is the money and time costs people incur obtaining costs (Mooney, 1983)".
  • Access: "The ability to secure a specified set of health care services, at a specified level of quality, subject to a specified maximum level of personal inconvenience and cost, whilst in possession of a specified amount of information (Goddard & Smith, 2001)".
  • Having Access: "The possibility of using a health care service if required (Aday & Andersen, 1974; Andersen et al., 1983)".
  • Gained Access: "The use of a health care service if required (Aday & Anderson, 1974; Andersen et al., 1983)".

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