“Health equity is the realization by all people of the highest attainable level of health. Achieving health equity requires valuing all individuals and populations equally and entails focused and ongoing societal efforts to address avoidable inequalities by ensuring the conditions for optimal health for all groups, particularly those who have experienced historical or contemporary injustices or socioeconomic disadvantage.”
— Adewale Troutman, Health Equity, Human Rights and Social Justice: Social Determinants as the Direction for Global Health
Health Equity Is Vital to Addressing Health Disparities
Health equity is integral to any health improvement process. When implementing strategies and efforts to improve health across the community, there is a danger that health will improve among those who have better access to resources, thus increasing the health disparities affecting vulnerable populations.
Social Determinants of Health
A 2013 report, Losing Ground, about the social determinants of health (e.g. how our income, education, and other factors affect our health), notes that the division between educational attainment and income level has widened since the 1960s.
Health improvement efforts should prioritize indicators, interventions, strategies, and goals to improve health among those most impacted by specific health issues.