What is Health Equity?

What is Health Equity What is Health Equity

What is Health Equity – Overview

Health equity requires everyone to have a chance to be as healthy as possible. However, several factors that are out of our control, such as lack of resources and discrimination, can prevent people from achieving the best state of health.

Health equity is an effective way to challenge and correct these non-controllable factors and ensure everyone gets the chance to be the healthiest they can be.

Some of the most common challenges in achieving complete health equity are:

  • Lack of access to quality education
  • Ethnic and racial discrimination
  • Insufficient housing/lack of housing
  • Income and wealth disparity
  • Unsafe environments

By decreasing and overcoming the challenges of these obstacles, people can effectively achieve optimal health equity. However, this is something a person can only achieve themselves. Instead, overcoming health equity challenges involves adaptive changes from the community and healthcare providers and governments.

Health Equity and Health Disparities

Health disparity is a difference that affects how a person is able to achieve their best health state. Some of the most common examples of health disparities include race, religion, education, gender, disability, income, geographic location, and sexual orientation.

In essence, health disparities create health inequality.

Due to different situations, some people are not always able to access the same level of healthcare services as others. A health disparity is usually beyond the individual’s control.

There are two major ways that are suggested to overcome health disparities – health equality and health equity.

Health Equality vs Health Equity

Health equality refers to providing every individual with the same opportunities to receive healthcare services. Some common examples include community health centers offering free/low-cost check-ups.

On the other hand, health equity refers to the situation where people are provided opportunities according to their needs. For instance, a healthcare center usually determines charges for its services depending on the individual’s income range.

A person who cannot afford conventional health care service rates can receive the same service for no charge, while another well-to-do person may be charged for the same services.

In short, health equality means everyone gets the same standard of treatment, while health equity ensures that everyone receives individualized healthcare services with the same quality.

Most people do not support health equality. For instance, if a clinic offers free check-ups only in the morning, a person who works during that time will be unable to receive affordable care. Though the clinic offers the same service to every individual, not everyone will be able to take advantage of it.

Health equity requires offering alternative check-up times, such as in the afternoon or evening so that every individual can access the service at the time that suits them.

Common Examples of Health Equity

Some of the most common types of services that run on a health equity basis are:

  • Health seminars and courses are designed specifically to cater to the needs of certain racial groups or ethnic communities.
  • Low-cost health care services to individuals from low-income households
  • Mobile health check-ups to help individuals who do not have access to transportation
  • Evening or late-night health appointments for individuals working long hours
  • Access to better education, testing and treatment for communities specifically affected by certain diseases and health conditions

The government and community health organizations need to acknowledge and attempt to remove barriers to care to promote health equity.

How to Receive Health Equity?

What is Health Equity

What is Health Equity – How to Receive Health Equity

Special groups, who don’t have health equity, are usually disenfranchised and discriminated against through no fault of their own. Common examples of this include:

  • People from low-income households
  • Members of the LGBTQ+ community
  • Ethnic and racial minorities

Members of the above communities are likely to experience obstacles in receiving optimal health care services, such as low income, violence and poor living conditions.

To receive health equity requires personal, political and community efforts. Individuals can only possibly correct some challenging factors that impact their health equity. These individuals can benefit from professionals and programs that assist them in achieving optimal health equity.

How to Promote Health Equity?

Organizations and individuals can take certain steps to help the under-served achieve health equity, such as:

  • Identifying the ways health disparities in a community impact certain groups
  • Recognizing every person has their own racial and ethnic biases and learning how to recognize when an environment or policy may unintentionally exclude a person or group.
  • Showing respect to people of all groups and making efforts to involve all groups in making changes. This requires consulting with the group you intend to serve if the planned program to address health disparity will be effective or not.
  • Frequently evaluating the effectiveness of policies on health equity and making necessary changes to ensure the policies are most effective.
  • Encouraging people to contribute with their talents, time and gifts, such as tutoring students to help them get high school diplomas or a healthcare professional volunteering their time to help at a community clinic

In short, promoting health equity requires working with others to lift healthcare obstacles whenever possible.


Several local, state, and national organizations are committed to promoting health equity, such as the American Public Health Association, Office of Health Equity, and Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, among others. Many states also have a health equity department that works to provide education and training on health equity opportunities.





See Also

Cultural Competence in Healthcare

What is PHI in Healthcare?

What is a Healthcare Proxy?

What is Healthcare FSA?

IDA Grant Program

EIDL Grant

DHHS Grants

I am a dedicated healthcare researcher and an enthusiast specializing in medical grants, medical education and research. Through my articles, I aim to empower healthcare professionals and researchers with valuable insights and resources to navigate these critical aspects effectively.

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