Access to health care means having “the timely use of personal health services to achieve the best health outcomes.” Access to health care consists of four components:
Coverage: facilitates entry into the health care system. Uninsured people are less likely to receive medical care and more likely to have poor health status.
Services: Having a usual source of care is associated with adults receiving recommended screening and prevention services.
Timeliness: ability to provide health care when the need is recognized.
Workforce: capable, qualified, culturally competent providers.
Many in our community face barriers that prevent or limit access to needed healthcare services, which may increase the risk of poor health outcomes and health disparities.