[Pophealth] Closing the health inequalities gap: an international
sabez at u.washington.edu
Sat Nov 26 16:22:19 PST 2005
There are many different terms used to refer to health differences in
popualtions although the concept is relatively unknown by the US public
despite, as the report indicates, it being the only country with an
ambitious goal to eliminate health disparities by 2010. Benjamin's law at
work (when all is said and done, more is said than done).
Nevertheless this report is a good summary of what is being written at
the government level in many rich countries regarding population health. STephen
The report "Closing the health inequalities gap: an international
perspective" presents an analysis of official documents on government
policies to tackle inequalities in health from 13 developed countries. All
countries recognize that health inequalities are caused by adverse
socioeconomic and environmental circumstances. However they differ in
their definitions of inequalities and in their approaches to tackling the
Sweden and Northern Ireland have structured their overall public health
policy to tackle the underlying determinants of inequalities in health.
England is the only country with a separate comprehensive policy. Most
countries also have policies on poverty, social inclusion, and social
These are motivated by a concern for human rights and dignity and deal
primarily with the underlying causes of health inequalities. While broadly
setting the same overarching goal, policies on health inequalities show
many different features. Policymakers face two challenges: to ensure that
strategies to tackle the macroenvironmental factors feature in policy on
inequalities in health, and to ensure that health becomes a prominent
issue in social justice policy. Few countries have a coordinated approach
to tackling inequalities in health.
It was commissioned by NHS Health Scotland and published by the WHO
European Office for Investment for Health and Development.
The Regional Office for Europe of the World Health Organization, 2005
Available online as PDF file [81p.] at:
More information about the Pophealth