Health equity, defined

"Health equity" has become a buzzword of sorts in the industry, with major organizations naming it as a main priority. However, those same organizations use different definitions of the term, according to a Health Affairs blog post.

"[W]hile it's not imperative that everyone define it exactly the same way, a common understanding of the core elements of health equity is essential — for researchers, advocates, decision makers and policy makers," wrote Paula Braveman, MD, director of the Center on Social Disparities in Health at UCSF in San Francisco.

Dr. Braveman's team from UCSF joined with a team from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to create an encompassing definition of heath equity. They came up with the following:

"Everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible. This requires removing obstacles to health such as poverty, discrimination and their consequences, including powerlessness and lack of access to good jobs with fair pay, quality education and housing, safe environments and healthcare."

While the definition may not be perfect, Dr. Braveman wrote that it "provides concrete guidance on what it means to pursue health equity."

Read the full blog post form Dr. Braveman here.

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