The impact of rural hospital closures on equity of commuting time for haemodialysis patients: simulation analysis using the capacity-distance model
BACKGROUND In this article, a consideration of the role and meaning of the rural hospital is contextualised within the health reform environment in Saskatchewan (Canada). Individual and community perceptions of the impact of the conversion/closure of a rural hospital are often unheard and more often unheeded. Some researchers suggest hospital conversion/closure is a devastating event in the life of rural communities, yielding long-lasting medical, economic and psychological consequences. METHOD This article examines the concept of critical incidents with the intent of proposing a working definition of the concept. Lazarus and Folkman's (1984) construct of appraisal provides the framework for discussion and re-conceptualisation of critical incidents. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS The recommendation is to consider the adoption of an alternate definition of critical incident shifting away from professional or external delineation of an event's meaning. The proposed definition states that a critical incident is any external event that alters an individual's or community's life from the perspective of that individual or community. Finally, the conversion/closure of a rural hospital is considered within this re-conceptualised 'critical incident' definition.