Mobile clinics: Medical service strategy for disaster healthcare response operation

Meilinda Maghfiroh, Shinya Hanaoka

Abstract


Purpose: Disrupted healthcare facilities due to disasters leave the affected communities without access to sufficient health care. This study proposed the use of mobile health clinics to address the issues faced by medical service providers during disaster response.

Design/methodology/approach: A mobile health clinic a mobile facility that performs health care services from a stationary location. The model was developed as a healthcare response strategy, considering demand uncertainties due to the nature of the disaster. Therefore, this study objective is to simultaneously generate the mobile health clinic route and schedule and determine how each mobile health clinic covers patient demands within a pre-specified time horizon. The stochastic model is presented because the disaster's impact varies according to its scale.

Findings: An investigation of the medical shelter effect in locations with high number of displaced people and the routing of mobile clinics for several shelter locations with a small number of people show that a hybrid strategy comprising a medical shelter and a mobile health clinic is the best option. Mobile health clinics can serve many locations within an appropriate walking distance. It can also route them to other locations when the time constraint allows. With a high number of people located in a shelter, building a medical shelter provides a better service.

Originality/value: This study proposed mobile health clinics as a medical service strategy during disaster response to address the challenges faced by communities during a disaster response. The idea of mobile health clinics (MHC) is to improve communities’ access to healthcare services.


Keywords


Mobile health clinics, disaster response, healthcare, routing

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3926/jiem.3941


Licencia de Creative Commons 

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Journal of Industrial Engineering and Management, 2008-2022

Online ISSN: 2013-0953; Print ISSN: 2013-8423; Online DL: B-28744-2008

Publisher: OmniaScience