Equity Guidelines

What Is Health Equity?

Health Equity “involves the fair distribution of resources needed for health, fair access to the opportunities available, and fairness in the support offered to people when ill”.1 According to the concept of ‘Health Equity’, an individual’s ethnicity, race, gender, age, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, or other social condition, should not restrict them from participation or access to services. This concept aims to help ensure that individuals are not disadvantaged from fulfilling their health potential and improve outcomes for all populations.  

Consistent with our mission and vision, BCPHR places emphasis on health equity with the expectation that authors address this topic within their manuscripts. To facilitate this, we have provided authors with a checklist (please see below) describing components of health equity for possible incorporation. Not every checklist component is needed, but authors should ensure that some of these criteria are present before submission.

  1. Whitehead, M., & Dahlgren, G. (2006). Concepts and Principles for Tackling Social Inequities in Health: Levelling Up Part 1 (pp. 5). World Health Organization: Studies on Social and Economic Determinants of Population Health.

Health Equity Checklist

  • Equal Access to Healthcare Services: Ensuring that all individuals, regardless of their socioeconomic status, ethnicity, or location, have access to quality healthcare services, including preventive care, medical treatments, and screenings.

  • Reducing Disparities in Disease Incidence and Mortality: Implementing targeted interventions to address and reduce health disparities related to certain diseases or conditions that disproportionately affect specific populations. For example, programs aimed at reducing higher rates of diabetes among certain racial or ethnic groups.

  • Social Determinants of Health Interventions: Addressing the social factors that influence health outcomes, such as income, education, housing, and employment. Initiatives might include providing affordable housing, offering education and job training programs, and improving access to healthy food options in underserved communities.

  • Cultural Competency in Healthcare: Ensuring that healthcare providers are culturally sensitive and knowledgeable about the needs and preferences of diverse patient populations. This can lead to better communication and understanding between healthcare professionals and patients.

  • Language Access Services: Providing language interpretation services and translated materials to ensure that individuals who speak languages other than the predominant language in a region can access healthcare information and services.

  • Community Health Centers: Establishing and supporting community-based healthcare centers in underserved areas to provide essential medical, dental, and mental health services to populations that might otherwise lack access.

  • School-Based Health Programs: Offering healthcare services within schools to improve access for children and adolescents. These programs can include vaccinations, screenings, and counseling services.

  • Telehealth and Digital Health Initiatives: Expanding access to healthcare services through telehealth and digital platforms, especially in rural or remote areas where traditional healthcare services might be limited.

  • Health Literacy Programs: Providing education and resources to improve individuals’ understanding of health-related information, enabling them to make informed decisions about their health.

  • Eliminating Biases and Discrimination: Addressing unconscious biases and discrimination within healthcare systems to ensure that all patients are treated with respect and receive appropriate care.

  • Early Intervention Programs: Offering early intervention and preventive services to identify health issues before they become more serious, particularly in populations with limited access to healthcare.

  • Healthcare Workforce Diversity: Increasing diversity within the healthcare workforce, including doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals, to better reflect the communities they serve and improve cultural competence.