How do you ensure equity in healthcare?

The 10 best ways to improve health and health equity Stop the spread of COVID-19, invest in public health infrastructure, address the opioid and substance use epidemic, mitigate climate change and invest in environmental justice, reduce poverty and improve economic stability, improve access and quality of education. Make sure your local government has banned the box on job applications. Make sure that people who don't speak English can access social services. Health equity means providing patients with the care they need when they need it.

Or, as the Institute of Medicine (IOM) report says, health equity means “providing care that does not vary in quality due to personal characteristics, such as gender, ethnicity, geographical location and socioeconomic status.” Health disparities or inequities are types of unfair health differences closely related to social, economic or environmental disadvantages that negatively affect groups of people. Based mainly on moral arguments, these campaigns have addressed inequalities in the health of racial and ethnic minorities, women's health, mental health, children's health, veterans' health, rural health and, more recently, LGBT health. The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) provides ideas, knowledge and examples for local health departments to strengthen their capacity to influence the root causes of health inequities through a social justice perspective. In addition, the ACA established six new minority health offices in federal agencies tasked with ensuring that the new federal regulations incorporate health equity measures, and elevated the National Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities to an institute of the National Institutes of Health.

In addition, it is also striving to include more minorities in clinical trials and strengthen research on comparative efficacy to ensure that medical devices and drugs include these populations, so that providers can make more informed decisions about treatments for diverse patient populations. The Advancing Health Equity Program seeks teams of state Medicaid agencies, Medicaid health plans, healthcare provider organizations, individuals and communities suffering from inequities who work together to eliminate unfair differences in health and health care through an anti-racist approach.

Lily Prach
Lily Prach

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