Arch Hellen Med, 24(3), May-June 2007, 265-269
Computerized tomography and magnetic resonance imaging scanners public hospital coverage:
P. MARKOU, P.D. BAMIDIS, D. NIAKAS
OBJECTIVE ď´ evaluate the regional distribution of computerized tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners and their coverage in public hospitals of the national health services of Greece (ESY) and England (NHS) at the year 2001.
METHOD Official published data were used to calculate distribution and hospital coverage indices, such as the number and percentage of CTs and MRIs per hospital or trust in the 9 geographical regions of Greece and 8 of England, respectively. Regional distribution inequalities were examined with the Gini (G) coefficient. Correlations between the number of CTs and MRIs and the number of public hospitals per region were examined with Pearson's correlation test.
RESULTS The regional distribution indices were 0.17-0.75 CT and 0.0-0.25 MRI per hospital in ESY, while in NHS the numbers were 1.17-1.68 CT and 0.52-1.17 MRI per trust, but with a significant percentage of NHS trusts having more than one CT (27.1%) and MRI (17.1%). Mean distribution indices, indicative for hospital coverage with CTs and MRIs were 0.44 CT and 0.08 MRI in 131 ESY hospitals, 0.59 CT and 0.10 MRIs in 98 ESY general hospitals. In NHS the mean distribution indexes were 1.41 CT and 0.87 MRIs per trust with real coverage indices reaching 100% for CTs and 63.3% for ╠RIs. Significant correlation was found in ESY between the number of hospitals per region and the number of CTs (P<0.01) and MRIs (P<0.01), while such a correlation was less significant for NHS CTs (P<0.02) and insignificant for NHS MRIs (P<0.1, NS). The Gini coefficient was indicative of considerable regional distribution inequalities and was smaller in ESY for CTs (G=0.671) and MRIs (G=0.679) than CTs (G=0.755) and MRIs (G=0.760) in the NHS.
CONCLUSIONS The regional distribution of public CTs and MRIs in hospitals presents considerable inequalities, especially in Greece, while in England there is a pattern of extended hospital coverage. The Gini coefficient is useful in comparison of regional inequalities; the latter seem to be higher in NHS than ESY, but ESY appears to have insufficiencies in hospital coverage, especially with MRIs.
Key words: Computerized tomography, Health policy, Hospital, Magnetic resonance imaging.