Healthy People 2030 – Achieving Health Equity
Increasing health equity requires organizations to develop structures and a governance structure that support this work. The next step is to take specific action in addressing social determinants of health. Health systems must recognize health disparities and work to reduce them. Some patient populations may need additional support, such as home visits or transportation. Health systems must also confront institutional racism within their organizations and dismantle structures that perpetuate race-based advantage. In addition, health systems must adopt new vital signs for non-medical factors, such as dietary intake, smoking, and alcohol use.
Health equity is based on the principle of social justice and equal access to good health. It takes into account cultural and socioeconomic status as major barriers to health. Poverty reduces access to nutritious foods, increases stress, and forces people to live in unhealthy communities. Health professionals must consider the social determinants of health, such as race, ethnicity, gender identity, and sexual orientation, when planning a health care system. Increasing health equity by providing these resources and opportunities for the most vulnerable groups can improve the lives of everyone.
Healthy People 2030 provides a framework for measuring health equity and health disparities. Its focus is on the social determinants of health and promotes shared understanding of these concepts. It also provides tools for action. Health equity is a goal where every person has the same quality of life. The highest level of health is achieved for everyone. In addition, achieving health equity means addressing disparities in health outcomes. Achieving health equity requires collaboration among individuals, organizations, and communities to eliminate social determinants that lead to health inequities.
Despite the widespread use of the term health equity, it is unclear what it actually means. Many individuals and organizations have different definitions of health equity and this can hinder productive dialogue. However, a common definition of health equity is essential in bridging these divides and fostering productive dialogue. There are examples of health equity terminology in the report, which can help people identify what it means. And a clear understanding of the term can lead to better policy and funding opportunities.
Health equity is achieved when every person has equal opportunities for optimal health. No person is disadvantaged by a social position or socially determined circumstances. This is the opposite of health inequity, where some individuals are more likely than others to experience poor health. Various factors can limit people from experiencing optimal health, including income, education, gender, and disability. Without health equity, the potential for optimal health is greatly limited for everyone. There are also social, economic, and environmental factors that affect health.
Social justice and economic prosperity require the addressing of health disparities. The disparities in health are based on underlying social inequities and racism. Reducing health disparities is critical for preventing more serious and costly issues in the future. The federal government, states, and communities have already launched initiatives in this regard. Meanwhile, private organizations are also working to reduce health disparities. This will not happen overnight, but it must be a priority.