Monday, June 20, 2011

[EQ] Health Equity Impact Assessment

Health Equity Impact Assessment

A primer / Haber, Rebecca. -- Toronto: Wellesley Institute (2010)

Available online PDF [6p.] at:

 “……Health inequalities are pervasive in Ontario and around the globe. In Ontario, people with low incomes report their health to be poor or fair at a rate three times that of people with high income. People with higher incomes live longer with better quality of life than people with low incomes. The same gradients are found for particular conditions, and health outcomes can be worse for specific populations including aboriginals, recent immigrants, women, and remote communities.

While the roots of these health disparities lie in wider social determinants of health such as income inequality, precarious work, racism and social exclusion, inequitable access to quality early childhood development, inadequate housing, and other dimensions of social inequality and exclusion, the health system is also key.

Not only do disadvantaged populations end up sicker and in need of care, they also face inequitable access and differential quality of care. While the health system can mediate the impact of the social determinants of health, it can also further widen health disparities if inequitable access and quality are not addressed.

What is needed is a comprehensive strategy to tackle these disparities. This includes building equity into strategic priorities and performance management, aligning equity with existing drivers and priorities, and using available resource and policy levers to drive equity-focused initiatives.

This requires understanding specific barriers to equitable care and support, and the specific needs of health disadvantaged populations.

And this requires equity-focused planning using an array of effective and practical tools.
One promising tool is Health Equity Impact Assessment (HEIA)…..”


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