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Health equity: Meaning, promotion, and training

What is meant by health equity?

What is meant by health equity?

means ensuring that everyone has the chance to be as healthy as possible. However, factors outside of a person’s control, such as discrimination and lack of resources, can prevent them from achieving their best health. Working toward health equity is a way to correct or challenge these factors.

Definition

means ensuring that every person has the opportunity to achieve their best health.

Unfortunately, many social and environmental factors can limit a person’s access to and continued use of good health practices and healthcare. These are health inequities Trusted Source.

Examples of these obstacles include Trusted Source:

  • racial and ethnic discrimination
  • lack of access to quality education
  • income and wealth gaps
  • inadequate housing or lack of housing
  • unsafe environments

By reducing, challenging, or overcoming these obstacles, people can achieve health equity. However, this is rarely something that a person can do for themselves. Instead, it requires adaptive changes from community and healthcare organizations and governments.

Health disparity, equality, and equity

People use many different terms when it comes to accessing healthcare, including health disparity, health equality, and health equity.

Health disparity

Health disparity Trusted Source is a difference that affects a person’s ability to achieve their best health. Examples of health disparities include race, gender, education, income, disability, geographic location, and sexual orientation.

Health disparities create health inequities.

Due to their differences or situation, some people do not always have access to the same opportunities to better their health that other people have. A health disparity is often beyond an individual’s control.

Two concepts refer to how to correct these health disparities: health equality and health equity.

Health equality vs. health equity

means everyone has the same opportunities. Examples could include a community center offering free or low-cost checkups to everyone.

means that people have opportunities based on their needs. An example could be the same health center charging people based on their ability to pay. A person who cannot afford care may receive it for free while another person may pay for the same care.

In short, health equality means everyone receives the same standard, while health equity means everyone receives individualized care to bring them to the same level of health.

Health equality is not always preferable. For example, if a clinic offers free checkups every morning, a person who must work during the morning cannot take advantage of this service. While the clinic offers checkups to everyone on the same terms, some people still cannot take advantage of the service.

would involve offering alternative checkup times in the afternoon or evening, so everyone can access the service at a time that suits them.

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