Putting our own house in order: examples of health-system action on socially determined health inequalities (2010)



Studies on social and economic determinants of population health, No. 5
2010, xii + 75 pages
ISBN 978 92 890 0209 7

The health system alone cannot significantly reduce health inequalities, but it nevertheless has a vital role in achieving that goal. This publication will give policy advisers, policy entrepreneurs and those who work in health systems a better understanding of the keys to taking action on socially determined health inequalities. It shows how to systematically generate and use evidence-informed options for action from a selection of case studies. It also contains a checklist of generic principles that can be put into practice or used to review existing examples of health-system actions and that can assist in designing and developing a tailored policy response.

The publication illustrates the wide range of actual and potential actions that the health system can take to "put its own house in order": ensuring equity of access to health services and improving the investment in and approach to working with other sectors so that the health system is instrumental in creating the conditions for health for all groups in the population.