Interim first report on social determinants of health and the health divide in the WHO European Region
Although health has improved for many people, there are major inequalities in health - within and between countries - across the WHO European Region. Evidence shows that these inequalities should be mostly avoidable and has significant human and economic costs. Unless action is taken, the gap between and within countries will increase. The WHO Regional Office for Europe commissioned a regional review of the health divide and inequalities in health from July 2010 to 2012 in order to inform the new health policy for the Region. The first phase of the review is assessing levels of inequalities in health across the European Region and identifying the barriers to and opportunities for reducing these. The final report on this phase will be completed in December 2010. An interim report, for which this is the summary, has been prepared for discussion in September 2010. The interim report also describes the subsequent stages and content of the rest of the review.