Health Equity and Social Determinants of Health
What is Health Equity?
Our health is about more than health care. Our health is not only impacted by the medical treatments we receive or our lifestyle choices, but it is also impacted by social factors and the conditions in which we live.
For example, having a stable place to live, eating enough healthy food, having the ability to read, and getting the right amount of exercise are all factors that affect our health. These factors are called social determinants of health and are a result of local, national and global circumstances.
Health equity is when everyone has the opportunity to attain their full health potential regardless of their individual circumstances.
In the context of the health system, health equity means:
- Making sure everyone has access to high quality health care
- Addressing specific health needs of all people regardless of social status
- Ensuring that the health services are organized and provided in a way that reduces health disparities
There is great evidence about the need for health equity action. The Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant Local Health Integration Network (HNHB LHIN) is committed to improving health equity within the context of the health system by incorporating those beliefs into planning, funding, and integrating health services.
HNHB LHIN Health Equity Communiqués
In the three-minute video below from the Health Equity Institute, learn how social, economic and environmental conditions can create health inequities and how these inequities can affect health disparities.