Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Arbetsrapport,
Institute for Futures Studies

No 2007:14: Policies and strategies to promote social equity in health. Background document to WHO - Strategy paper for Europe.

Göran Dahlgren and Margaret Whitehead
Additional contact information
Göran Dahlgren: Institute for Futures Studies, Postal: Box 591, SE-101 31 Stockholm, Sweden
Margaret Whitehead: Institute for Futures Studies, Postal: Box 591, SE-101 31 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: This is the second in a series of discussion papers from the WHO Regional Office for Europe. The first covers concepts and principes of equity in relation to health, and should be read in conjunction with this paper (Whitehead 1990). The present paper sets out to develop the discussion further by outlining a strategic approach to promote greater equity in health between different social and occupational groups. This draws on the work of WHO advisory groups and associated litterature listed at the back, together with practical examples from industrialized countries where strategies have been put into action. The first part (section 1-9) of the paper outlines why equity is seen as a priority and distinguishes different policy levels for interventions. Specific equity aspects related to each policy level are then highlighted as well as some case studies. The second part of the paper (section 10-14) deals with putting policy into practice. Special attention is then paid to the need for comprehensive approaches to combat social and occupational inequities in health as illustrated in terms of a strategy matrix. Furthermore the democratice process within which healthy public policies are to be discussed and determined is discussed as well as organizational aspects as regards the implementation of an equity oriented health policy. Finally checklists are presented focusing upon how to make things happen.

Keywords: health; social equity

JEL-codes: I10; I18

69 pages, December 1991

Price: 25 SEK

Note: ISSN: 1652-120X; ISBN: 978-91-85619-18-4

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