Nonetheless, fairness in health is cumbersome to measure due to its varied understanding across the cultural contexts (Starfield 2006). For that reason, the International Society for Equity in Health elaborated the definition by Whitehead with the purpose of researching and analyzing the health inequity and informing policy decisions as “Equity in health is the absence of systematic and potentially remediable differences in one or more aspects of health across socially, demographically, or geographically defined populations or population subgroups” (Starfield 2006). Table 1. Some definitions of equity in health Definitions Sources 1 “Equity means that people’s needs, rather than their social privileges, guide the distribution of opportunities for well-being. In virtually every society in the world, social privilege is reflected by differences in socioeconomic status, gender, geographical location, racial/ethnic/religious differences and age.
Today, health systems in both high-income and low-middle income countries play more significant role in improving as well as maintaining community health (WHO, 2007). Nevertheless, the efforts to develop well-functioning and highly integrated health systems are not easy since the most countries; especially developing countries have to deal with abundant challenges in public health. For instance, inequalities in the access to health care still exist in many countries due to various obstacles such as the inadequacies of the health resources and the discrepancy between the rich and the poor (Barten et al., 2007). To address those challenges, the health system must be reformed to improve the health coverage for all people as well as to conduct
Health inequalities are preventable and unjust differences in health status experienced by certain population groups. People in lower socio-economic groups are more likely to experience chronic ill-health and die earlier than those who are more advantaged. Health inequalities are not only apparent between people of different socio-economic groups – they exist between different genders and different ethnic groups (“Health inequalities,” n.d.). The situation in which people are born, grow, develop, work and age are affected by social, economic, environmental and most importantly political factors. Health inequalities do not just happen but are as a result of the social, economic and environmental factors that shapes our lives.
TASK 1 What are the social determinants of health and how these determinants are linked to Inequality in health outcomes between different social groups? The social determinants of health ranges from factors such as the wider socio-economic context as seen in fig 1, inequality; poverty; social exclusion; socio-economic position; income; public policies; health services; employment; education; housing; transport; the built environment; health behaviours or lifestyles; social and community support networks and stress. The social determinants of health are the circumstances in which people live and work and these circumstances are shaped by economics, policies and politics. It is the duty of the government tackle this social determinant of health and finds a solution to create a society which is equal and just. Fig 1.
Examples of geographical area include neighborhood, city, country or state, where examples of common characteristic include race, ethnicity, occupation, or common bounds. Population health refers to health status as well as actions and conditions to promote, protect, and preserve the health of a group of people who are not organized and have no identity as a group or locality. Example of groups within population health may include women older than 30, adolescents, prisoners and blue collar workers are all example of populations. therefore, the primary difference between community and population terms is the degree of organization or identity of the people (19). Communities are characterized by the following
Social determinants of Health are issues that deals with the conditions that people have found constructed in a society and acts as a parcel in their lives, such as; growth, age and some of the more complex systems that construct a society which include economic policies and their systems that include social norms, development goals and the basic political system that they are indulged under (World Health Organization, 2008). There has been a new wave of research into exactly what are "social determinants of Health" (SDOH), as well as what constitutes it and how it affects public health. The focal claim emerging from this collection of research is that different social variables affect populace wellbeing and has an effect on how disparities in health outcomes crosswise over social gatherings affect general public wellbeing (Preda &
Class, race, gender, and age are all factors related to health access. First of all, health is linked to social class. Rich developed countries have better health care than poor, underdeveloped countries. Poverty in poor countries results in malnutrition, poor hygiene, and lack of health education which in turn leads to the spread of many diseases; this is especially true in poor countries in the African continent or Bangladesh, for example. In these countries, the country does not have the money to improve the health care with new technologies nor the money to treat all the citizens, and the people who live in poverty do not have the money to pay for their own treatment especially if it is not free.
Sometimes, however, these elements get ignored when in reality these are key factors that can help towards improving the overall health system. Factors such as those linked to genetic and biological differences. Social variables are identified as a source of health inequalities grouped into three categories; namely, social, structural, behavioural and psychological factors (Denton, Prus & Walters, 2003). Beyond that, its documented a relationship between health, inequalities and socio-economic inequalities income, education, occupational status and employment status. The vulnerability hypothesis proposed that women’s health differs from men’s because they also react in different ways to factors that determine health (Denton, Prus, & Walters, 2003).
Healthcare is a critical component of human survival. To sustain a healthy lifestyle, proper healthcare services should be offered based on universality and affordability. The access to healthcare has been, however, far from universal or affordable. For institutional, political and socioeconomic reasons, access to healthcare is characterized by growing disparities between healthcare service recipients. Institutionally, disparity can be witnessed in concentration of premium services in organizations which are better funded, having most qualified care providers and, predictably, having most sophisticated equipment and facilities.
In a general perspective, healthcare is all about maintaining one’s health and improving the health of deteriorating bodies. However, there is a close relationship between healthcare and the homeless population, in that most of the homeless population does not have access to good healthcare. According to a report by the National Coalition for the Homeless (2009), poor health is closely associated with homelessness. For instance, even if one belongs to the middle or lower class in society, a serious illness will lead to a financial downward spiral starting from losing one’s job due to a lot of time spent away from work, usage of one’s savings to pay for medical bills and this can lead to one being evicted from his/her house and one eventually ends up in the streets where the person will become vulnerable to infections and