In-depth accessibility study – Regional development impacts in the Nordic countries

This accessibility study is an annex to the main VOPD main report and shows the current situation regarding the potential geographic accessibility of health care for the residents in the VOPD case study regions. The report also addresses the situation regarding the potential accessibility of social care for the elderly population in the VOPD case study municipalities.

The theoretical approach and methodology is built on a previous Nordregio project commissioned by the Icelandic Office for Regional Development (Byggðastofnun) in 2016, which covered the potential geographic accessibility of health care in the Icelandic regions. The Nordic ‘Health care and care with distance-spanning solutions’ (VOPD) project has been initiated and funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers, with Glesbygdsmedicinskt Centrum as lead partner.

The aim is to explore different aspects of digitalisation in the health and care sectors, and what impact these transformations might have on regional development. The geographical scope of the study is the Nordic Region as a whole, and the case study regions were specifically chosen as representative of rural regions in each country. In this perspective, results from the case study regions have been presented in such a way that any insight could be applied to other Nordic Regions with similar geographies and residential patterns.