This paper focuses on the importance of time and space in an Australian medical setting. It draws on research findings from a one year project that aimed to explore community perspectives of, and experiences of medical services in three South Australian women's and community health centres. Both qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection and analysis were used in order to address these objectives. A significant finding was the way in which participants described the organisation and experience of time and space in these centres and how this impacted on their health and well being and that of the community. In analysing these spatio-temporal dimensions and the underlying philosophical structures of women's and community health centres, this paper argues that experiences associated with space and time have a positive effect on health status by: diminishing barriers to health services, improving quality of care, increasing community participation, providing safe places for social interaction and strengthening people's sense of belonging or attachment to a particular community and place. Based on these findings, the authors conclude that the spatio-temporal dimensions of health care provision have empowering and positive impacts on a community's health, a significant finding that has implications for the maintenance and future funding of this style of health service. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd.
- Community members
- Health of place
- Time and space
- Women's and community health centres