Thinking About Health Equity, Acting on Health Equity


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This presentation offers critical insights on thinking and acting on health equity.

Bob Gardner, Director of Policy
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  • Ont 2005 age standardized 25>
  • getting more specific on concrete impact of health disparities on quality of livesactivities of ¼ of low income people are limited by pain = 2X than high income
  • In: that's impact on daily livesthat type of impact adds up over people's lives
  • reinforcing nature of social determinants on health disparitiesreally impt for key strategy = crucial part of managing diabetes esp. is good nutrition
  • previousdata shows complex and reinforcing nature of social determinants on health disparitiespractical implications = health promotion and CDPM has to take SDoH into account
  • when we’re working with particular populations or neighbourhoods – need to think at all these levels and their inter-connectionfor today: particular populations are worse off in terms of SDOH – precarious workers, homeless – face worse healthdisadvantage can be concentrated in particular places -- poor or racialized neighbourhoods – and over the generations in particular groups – long-term poor
  • which highlights the crucial importance of context
  • theme – learning from others
  • Principle applies throughout system – at provider and often at program level as well
  • practical local example – esp. impt to UHN
  • openingsmany hospitals have CABs or panelsLHINs are mandated to undertake community engagement
  • challenge = system is fragmented – LHINs, primary care, provincial programs, acute and up-stream, two ministries, public health – let along beyond health
  • opportunistic = greater chance of success for equity strategy if aligned with
  • Sick Kids analysis of patients by neighbourhood income levelneed to match tools to purpose
  • theme: use levers to hand – Ls can require use of such tools
  • recognizing that what gets measured, matters
  • appropriate -- meaning especially that every plan need not be huge and cannot add excessively to agency workload
  • not just being an immigrantbut where people came from and what conditions they find themselves in here:more precarious position in labour marketfacing racism and dynamics of social exclusion
  • could hook up to this – or at least keep it on horizoncould also link into Healthcare Interpreters Network
  • all of this equity planning loops back to quality
  • not just in negative sense of identifying barriers and gaps, but what could be enablers and directions for innovationpeers have been from particular ethno-cultural communities or neighbourhoods or are newcomers, PHAs, drug users or others with particular lived experience
  • many jurisdictions: Italian example for immigrant pop’nscould consider for Central for any expansion
  • how many involved in planning with LHINs?
  • how many involved in planning with LHINs?
  • key role for OPHA
  • SSM was one of these big ideas and tremendous work of AOHC and allies
  • summary again
  • Thinking About Health Equity, Acting on Health Equity

    1. 1. Thinking About Health Equity/ Acting on Health Equity Bob Gardner Medical and Health Sciences Forum University of Toronto January 26, 2012
    2. 2. Key Messages• health disparities are pervasive and damaging• will set out how these disparities can be addressed through comprehensive health equity strategy• acting on health equity within the health system • building equity into all planning and delivery • targeting some programs and resources for equity impact • aligning equity with key system drivers • embedding equity in performance management and service delivery• and well beyond healthcare -- tackling the underlying roots of health inequality in the wider social determinants of health • through community-based innovation, cross-sectoral collaborations and fundamental social and policy change to reduce inequality • community and political mobilization to demand and drive the necessary policy changes 2
    3. 3. The Problem to Solve = Health Disparities in Ontario•there is a clear gradient in healthin which people with lowerincome, education or otherindicators of social inequality andexclusion tend to have poorerhealth•+ major differences betweenwomen and men•the gap between the health ofthe best off and mostdisadvantaged can be huge – anddamaging•impact and severity of theseinequities can be concentrated inparticular populations 3
    4. 4. Gradient of Health Across Many Conditions4
    5. 5. Impact of Health Inequities5
    6. 6. Impact of Health Inequities II• not just a gradient of health and impact on quality of life• inequality in how long people live • difference btwn life expectancy of top and bottom income decile = 7.4 years for men and 4.5 for women • more sophisticated analyses add the pronounced gradient in morbidity to mortality → taking account of quality of life and developing data on health adjusted life expectancy • even higher disparities btwn top and bottom = 11.4 years for men and 9.7 for womenStatistics Canada Health Reports Dec 096
    7. 7. Foundations of Health Disparities Roots Lie in Social Determinants of Health•clear research consensus that rootsof health disparities lie in broadersocial and economic inequality andexclusion•impact of inadequate earlychildhood development, poverty,precarious employment, socialexclusion, inadequate housing anddecaying social safety nets on healthoutcomes is well established hereand internationally•we need comprehensive strategy todrive policy action and social changeacross these determinantsJanuary 30, 2012 |
    8. 8. Canadians With Chronic Conditions Who Also Report Food Insecurity 8
    9. 9. SDoH As a Complex ProblemDeterminants interact andintersect with each other in aconstantly changing anddynamic systemIn fact, through multipleinteracting and inter-dependent economic, socialand health systemsDeterminants have areinforcing and cumulativeeffect on individual andpopulation health 9
    10. 10. Three Cumulative and Inter-Connecting Levels in Which SDoH Shape Health Inequities1. because of inequitable access to 1. gradient of health in which more wealth, income, education and disadvantaged communities have other fundamental determinants poorer overall health and are at of health → greater risk of many conditions2. also because of broader social and 2. some communities and economic inequality and populations have fewer capacities, exclusion→ resources and resilience to cope with the impact of poor health3. because of all this, disadvantaged 3. these disadvantaged and and vulnerable populations have vulnerable communities tend to more complex needs, but face have inequitable access to services systemic barriers within the health and support they need and other systems →10
    11. 11. Health Inequities = ‘Wicked’ Problem• health inequities and their underlying social determinants of health are classic ‘wicked’ policy problems: • shaped by many inter-related and inter-dependent factors • in constantly changing social, economic, community and policy environments • action has to be taken at multiple levels -- by many levels of government, service providers, other stakeholders and communities • solutions are not always clear and policy agreement can be difficult to achieve • effects take years to show up – far beyond any electoral cycle• have to be able to understand and navigate this complexity to develop solutions• we need to be able to: • identify the connections and causal pathways between multiple factors • articulate the mechanisms or leverage points that will drive change in these pathways and in population health as a whole • analyze the policy changes needed to act on these levers • specify the short, intermediate and long-term outcomes expected and the preconditions for achieving them.January 30, 2012 11
    12. 12. Think Big, But Get Going• challenge = health inequities can seem so overwhelming and their underlying social determinants so intractable → can be paralyzing• think big and think strategically, but get going • make best judgment from evidence and experience • identify actionable and manageable initiatives that can make a difference • experiment and innovate • learn lessons and adjust – why evaluation is so crucial • gradually build up coherent sets of policy and program actions – and keep evaluating• need to start somewhere: • focus today is on engaging with and providing services and support to meet needs of priority populations • which & where depends on analysis of needs, resources, gaps and opportunities, and community resources and structures 12
    13. 13. Health Equity = Reducing Unfair Differences• Health disparities or inequities are differences in health outcomes that are avoidable, unfair and systematically related to social inequality and disadvantage• This concept: • is clear, understandable and actionable • identifies the problem that policies will try to solve • is also tied to widely accepted notions of fairness and social justice• The goal of health equity strategy is to reduce or eliminate socially and institutionally structured health inequalities and differential outcomes• A positive and forward-looking definition = equal opportunities for good health• Equity is a broad goal, including diversity in background, culture, race and identity
    14. 14. Planning ForComplexity of SDoHNeed to look at howthese other systemsshape the impact ofSDoH: •access to health services can mediate harshest impact of SDoH to some degree •community resources and resilience are imptPOWER Study: Gender andEquity Health Indicator FrameworkJanuary 30, 2012 |
    15. 15. Equity Into Health System: Why• even though roots of health disparities lie in far wider social and economic inequality• how the health system is organized and how services and care are delivered is still crucial to tackling health disparities• consistent theme in WHO, EU and all the major international reports and in the many countries that have developed comprehensive multi-sectoral strategies to reduce health disparities• in all of them, transforming the health system is an indispensable element, including: • reducing barriers to equitable access to high quality care • targeted interventions to improve the health of the poorest, fastest • up-stream investments in primary and preventative care directed to most vulnerable • delivering a full continuum of services in coordinated way at community/local level 15
    16. 16. Equity Into Health System: Why II1. it’s in the health system that the most disadvantaged in SDoH terms end up sicker and needing care • equitable healthcare and support can help to mediate the harshest impact of the wider social determinants of health on health disadvantaged populations and communities2. in addition, there are systemic disparities in access and quality of healthcare that need to be addressed • people lower down the social hierarchy can have poorer access to health services, even though they may have more complex needs and require more care • unless we address inequitable access and quality, healthcare and community support services could make overall disparities even worse 16
    17. 17. Equity Into Health System: How• goal is to ensure equitable health regardless of social position• can do this through a multi-pronged strategy: 1. building health equity into all health care planning and delivery • doesn’t mean all programs are all about equity • but all take equity into account in planning their services and outreach 2. aligning equity with system drivers and priorities 3. embedding equity in provider organizations’ deliverables, incentives and performance management 4. targeting some resources or programs specifically to addressing disadvantaged populations or key access barriers • looking for investments and interventions that will have the highest impact on reducing health disparities or enhancing the opportunities for good health of the most vulnerable 5. while thinking up-stream to health promotion and addressing the underlying determinants of healthJanuary 30, 2012 17
    18. 18. Equity Into Health System: How II while health disparities are pervasive and deep-rooted, they can be changed through policy and program action comprehensive strategy developed in 2008 for Toronto Central LHIN many recommendations have been acted on other LHINs are also prioritizing and moving to address health disparities 18
    19. 19. Start From The Community• goal is to reduce health disparities and speak to needs of most vulnerable communities – who will define?• can’t just be ‘experts’, planners or professionals • have to build community into core planning and priority setting • not as occasional community engagement • but to identify equity needs and priorities • and to evaluate how we are doing• how: • many hospital have community advisory panels • CHCs have community members on their boards • innovative methods of engagement – e.g. citizens’ assemblies or juries in many countries • community-based research, needs assessment and evaluation19
    20. 20. And Start From a Solid Strategic Commitment• need to make equity one of driving priorities for health system and reform • equity and a population health focus are among key principles enshrined in new Excellent Care for All Act = opening and context• need clear provincial strategy for equity: • implicit from MOHLTC, but promised ten year strategy has not been released • equity and population health are in public health standards • need strategic coherence across health system in approach to equity• LHINs, CCACs, and other coordinating agencies need to prioritize equity – and many have• cascading down to all providers prioritizing equity in their overall strategic plans and then into service delivery and resource allocation 20
    21. 21. Align Equity With Health System Drivers• Excellent Care For All Act and quality agenda• providers have to develop Quality Improvement Plans • hospitals first reported April 2011 • other providers will report in subsequent years • equity should be developed as one of dimensions to report on – but wasn’t really in frost hospital plans• patient-centred care → means taking the full range of people’s specific needs into account → customizing delivery and quality for more health disadvantaged populations with greater/more complex needs• improving safety requires addressing equity barriers • inadequate interpretation services can lead to mis-diagnoses, people not being able to follow medication, etc.• provincial priorities – e.g. diabetes, wait times, mental health, ALCs are all much affected by inequitable health and access – and will not be achieved unless planning/delivery takes equity into account21
    22. 22. Into Practice Through Equity-Focused Planning• addressing health disparities in service delivery and planning requires a solid understanding of: • key barriers to equitable access to high quality care • the specific needs of health-disadvantaged populations • gaps in available services for these populations• need to understand roots of disparities: • i.e. is the main problem language barriers, lack of coordination among providers, sheer lack of services in particular neighbourhoods, etc. • which requires good local research and detailed information – speaks to great potential of community-based research • involvement of local communities and stakeholders in planning and priority setting is critical to understanding the real local problems• requires an array of effective and practical equity-focused planning tools22
    23. 23. Health Equity Impact Assessment• increasing attention to potential – from WHO, through most European strategies, PHAC, to MOHLTC and LHINs• planning tool that analyzes potential impact of program or policy change on health disparities and/or health disadvantaged populations • can help to plan new services, policy development or other initiatives • can also be used to assess/realign existing programs • intended to be relatively easy-to-use tool • essentially prospective, helping plan forward• piloted in Toronto in 2009 by MOHTLC, Toronto Central LHIN and WI • HEIA is being used in Toronto Central and other LHINs and providers across the province • Toronto Central has required HEIA within recent funding application processes for Aging at Home, and refreshing hospital equity plans • required in last generation of TC hospital equity plans and many hospitals are extending its use 23
    24. 24. Beyond Planning: Embed Equity in System Performance Management• clear consensus from research and policy literature, and consistent feature in comprehensive policies on health equity from other countries: • setting targets for reducing access barriers, improving health outcomes of particular populations, etc • developing realistic and actionable indicators for service delivery and health outcomes • tying funding and resource allocation to performance • closely monitoring progress against the targets and indicators • disseminating the results widely for public scrutiny• need comprehensive performance measurement and management strategy• then choose appropriate equity targets and indicators for particular populations/communities 24
    25. 25. Success Condition: Effective Equity Targets• innovative work underway to develop equity indicators – but don’t need to wait• build equity into existing targets: • reducing diabetes incidence is prov and LHIN priority → equity target = reduce differences in incidence, complications and rates of hospitalization between populations or areas • a good service target has been proposed for diabetes = high/increasing % of people who get best standard care → reduce differences by gender, income, ethno-cultural background• need to drill down in specific areas that have high equity impact: → ensuring access and use of primary health care does not vary inequitably by income level, immigration status, neigbourhood, gender, race, etc.• many programs assess their services through client satisfaction surveys and look for high and improving satisfaction → reduce any differences in satisfaction by gender, income, ethno-cultural background, etc.25
    26. 26. Challenges: Equity Targets That Work• can’t just measure activity: • number or % of priority pop’n that participated in program • need to measure health outcomes – even when impact only shows up in long- term • so if theory of change for health program begins with enabling more exercise or healthier eating – then we measure that initial step• need to assess reach • who isn’t signing up? who needs program/support most? • who stuck with program and what impact it had on their health – and how this varies within the pop’n• and assess impact through equity lens • need to differentiate those with greatest need = who programs most need to support and keep to have an impact• then adapt incentives and drivers • develop weighting that recognizes more complex needs and challenges of most disadvantaged, and builds this into incentive system 26
    27. 27. Success Condition = Better Data•looking abroad for promising practices =Public Health Observatories in UK • consistent and coherent collection and analysis of pop’n health data • specialization among the Observatories – London focuses on equity issues•interest/development in Western Canada•national project to develop healthdisparity indicators and data•Toronto PH is addressing complexities ofcollecting and using race-based data•key direction = explore potential ofequity/SDoH data for Ontario•pilot project in 3 Toronto academichospitals to collect equity data 27
    28. 28. Use Available Levers: Equity Plans• a promising direction several LHINs have taken up is to require providers to develop equity plans • hospitals in Toronto Central and Central LHINs – just refreshed 2nd generation in TC • and other providers in Central • CHCs have developed a sector-wide plan in GTA• these plans are designed to: • identify access barriers, disadvantaged populations, service gaps and opportunities in their catchement areas and spheres • develop programs and services to address those gaps and better meet healthcare needs of disadvantaged communities• these provider plans have the potential to: • raise awareness of equity within the organizations • build equity into planning, resource allocation and routine delivery • pull their many existing initiatives together into a coherent overall equity strategy • build connections among providers for addressing common equity issues 28
    29. 29. Toronto Central LHIN Hospital Equity Plans 30, 2012 |
    30. 30. Target Investment for Equity Impact• target services to: • those facing the harshest disparities – to raise the worst off fastest • or most in need of specific services • or the worst barriers to equitable access to high-quality services• this requires resources • lever = certain % of LHIN budgets to be equity targeted• this requires sophisticated analyses of the bases of disparities: • i.e. is the main problem language barriers, lack of coordination among providers, sheer lack of services in particular neighbourhoods, etc. • which requires good local research and detailed information – speaks to great potential of community-based research to provide rich local needs assessments and evaluation data • involvement of local communities and stakeholders in planning and priority setting is critical to understanding the real local problems 30
    31. 31. Target Populations• vulnerable populations will vary: • poor neighbourhoods with high % of racialized population in many big cities • Aboriginal communities across the prov • isolated rural areas• solid evidence that enhancing primary care is one of key ways to improve care of disadvantaged • lack of access to primary care has been identified as a key issue for Prov and LHINs → concentrate new FHTs or other initiatives in particular regions or neighbourhoods, or in particular populations such as refugees or uninsured• need to drill down with good research: • South Asian immigrants had 3X and Caribbean and Latin American 2X risk of diabetes than immigrants from Western Europe or North America • greater risk for women • risk increases with time since immigration Creatore et al CMAJ Aril 19, 201031
    32. 32. Target Barriers• one of critical equity challenges for many LHINs, hospitals and other providers in diverse communities is language • LHINs need to specifically require hospitals to ensure interpretation is available in languages of their community • need to fund centralized interpretation services to support smaller agencies• in some other areas, distance and isolation are the critical determinants• in Toronto and other cities: people without health insurance – primarily immigrants/refugees: • many community initiatives to provide access • Women’s College Hospital Network on Noninsured is forum for coordination • research conference showing critical barriers to access and good care and resulting adverse health outcomes for vulnerable people • equity is complex – ‘wicked’ policy problems • but not all of it = avoidable disparities and workable solution • eliminate the three month wait for OHIP for new immigrants32
    33. 33. System Coordination• where complex care has been organized in provincial or regional networks and resources devoted to coordination and creating a continuum of care: • cancer, cardiac → less inequitable access• still access barriers can persist: • e.g. lower levels of screening in some ethno-cultural communities or areas • peer health ambassadors and other community-based solutions are promising• lesson = combine comprehensive system-wide coordination and local/grass-roots initiatives for specific populationsJanuary 30, 2012 |
    34. 34. Never Just Equitable Access, But Quality: Customize Service Delivery• taking social context and living conditions into account are part of good service delivery • when people face adverse social determinants of health → can increase risk of mental and physical health illness → fewer resources to cope (from supportive social networks, to good food and being able to afford medication)• providers and programs need to know this to customize and adapt care to SDoH and population needs and contexts • e.g. well-baby care has to be more intensive for poor or homeless women • health promotion has to be delivered in languages and cultures of particular population/community • focus in acute sectors and ECFAA on patient-centred care → means taking the full range of people’s specific needs into account → more intensive case management, referral planning and post-discharge follow-up 34
    35. 35. Not Just at Individual Level: Build Equity- Driven Service Models• drill down to further specify needs and barriers: • health disadvantaged populations have more complex and greater needs for services and support → continuum of care especially important • poorer people also face greater barriers – e.g. availability/cost of transportation, childcare, language, discrimination → facilitated access is especially important• e.g. Community Health Centre model of care • explicitly geared to supporting people from marginalized communities • comprehensive multi-disciplinary services covering full range of needs• public health and many community providers have established ‘peer health ambassadors’ to provide system navigation, outreach and health promotion services to particular communities35
    36. 36. Extend That → Address Roots of Health Inequities in Communities• look beyond vulnerable individuals to the communities in which they live • have to take SDoH into account in program design→ meeting full range of needs means moving beyond healthcare • focus on community development as part of mandate for many PHUs and CHCs • providing and partnering to provide related services/support such as settlement, language, child care, literacy, employment training, youth support, etc. • build local service partnerships -- many PHUs partner with CHCs, ethno-cultural, neighbourhood specific and other community providers and groups to support particular populationJanuary 30, 2012 |
    37. 37. Equity-Driven Innovation: Hub Models of Integrated Care• hub-style multi-service centres in which a range of health and employment, child care, language, literacy, training and social services are provided out of single ‘one stop locations • many countries have clinics that provide both health and wider social services in one place • some new satellite CHCs are being developed in designated high-need areas in Toronto will involve the CHCs delivering primary and preventive care and other agencies providing complementary social services out of the same location• not just health -- idea of schools as service hubs is being developed • think back to earlier eras with public health nurses in schools • start by putting hubs in schools in most disadvantaged areas • concentrated and integrated services for most disadvantaged kids have proven to be effective investment 37
    38. 38. Build Equity Upstream: Chronic Disease Prevention and Management•very clear gradient in incidence andimpact of chronic conditions•chronic disease prevention andmanagement programs cannot besuccessful unless they take healthdisparities and wider social conditionsinto account•some populations and communitiesneed greater support to prevent andmanage chronic conditions•anti-smoking, exercise and other healthpromotion programmes need toexplicitly foreground the particularsocial, cultural and economic factorsthat shape risky behaviour in poorercommunities– not just the usual focuson individual behaviour and lifestyle•need to customize and concentratehealth promotion programs to beeffective for most disadvantaged → ifnot, will widen inequities 38
    39. 39. Build SDoH In:Cross-Sectoral Planning Through an Equity Lens• cross-sectoral coordination and planning are much emphasized in public health and health policy circles • but what sectors? for what purposes?• addressing wider SDoH is the glue for collaboration into action • public health departments and LHINs are pulling together or participating in cross-sectoral planning tables → Prov should make this an explicit expectation • Local Immigration Partnerships, Social Planning Councils• the Ministry of Health Promotion and Sport developed a healthy communities strategic approach • cross-sectoral planning to ground health promotion • at best, this implies wider community development and capacity building approaches 39
    40. 40. Equity-Driven Collaboration and Coordination• across Canada, leading Regional Health Authorities have developed operational and planning links with local social services or emphasized community capacity building: • Saskatoon is developing cross-sectoral action on health equity: • began from local research documenting shocking disparities among neighbourhoods • focusing interventions in the poorest neighbourhoods – locating services in schools, relying on First Nations elders to guide programming, etc. • wide collaboration among public health, municipality, business, community, Aboriginal and other leaders• in Ontario public health are key players in addressing health disparities on the ground • a number of public health units have been pioneering social determinants approaches -- Sudbury, Waterloo, Toronto, Peterborough • generally through broad community collaborations40
    41. 41. Extend That → Build on/from Local and Regional Initiatives• there is always much to be learned from policies, programs and initiatives in other jurisdictions• all leading jurisdictions with comprehensive equity strategies combine: • national level macro strategies to reduce social health inequalities • with local or regional implementation and adaptation • concentrated local investment and coordination • British example: Health Action Zones and other models were designed to combine community economic development with targeted healthcare and social service improvements• that is the potential of LHINs and RHAs → build equity into regional planning and coordination 41
    42. 42. Extend That → Build On/From Community-Level Action• many cities have developed neighbourhood revitalization strategies • Toronto’s priority neighbourhoods, Regent’s Park• promising direction = comprehensive community initiatives: • broad partnerships of local residents, community organizations, governments, business, labour and other stakeholders coming together to address deep-rooted local problems – poverty, neighbourhood deterioration, health disparities • collaborative cross-sectoral efforts – employment opportunities, skills building, access to health and social services, community development • e.g. of Vibrant Communities – 14 communities across the country to build individual and community capacities to reduce poverty • Wellesley review of evidence = these initiatives have the potential to build individual opportunities, awareness of structural nature of poverty and local mobilization → into policy advocacy42
    43. 43. Building on the Potential of Community-Based Innovation and Initiatives• potential: • huge number of community and front-line initiatives already addressing equity across province • + equity focused planning through HEIA or other tools will yield useful information on existing system barriers and the needs of disadvantaged populations • and we’ll be seeing more and more population-specific program interventions• but • these initiatives and interventions are not being rigorously assessed • experience and lessons learned are not being shared systematically • so potential of promising interventions is not being realized 43
    44. 44. Back to Community Again: Build Momentum and Mobilization• sophisticated strategy, solid equity-focused research, planning and innovation, and well-targeted investments and services are key• but in the long run, also need fundamental changes in over-arching state social policy and underlying structures of economic and social inequality• these kinds of huge changes come about not because of good analysis but through widespread community mobilization and public pressure• key to equity-driven reform will also be empowering communities to imagine their own alternative vision of different health futures and to organize to achieve them• we need to find ways that governments, providers, community groups, unions, and others can support each others’ campaigns and coalesce around a few ‘big ideas’ 44
    45. 45. Health Equitycould be one of those ‘big’ unifying ideas.. • if we see opportunities for good health and wellbeing as a basic right of all • if we see the damaged health of disadvantaged and marginalized populations as an indictment of an unequal society – but that focused initiatives can make a difference • if we recognize that coming together to address the social determinants that underlie health inequalities will also address the roots of so many other social problems• thinking of what needs to be done to create health equity is a way of imagining and forging a powerful vision of a progressive future• and showing that we can get there from here 45
    46. 46. Key Messages• health disparities are pervasive and deep-seated – but can’t let that paralyze us• do need a comprehensive and coherent health equity strategy – but don’t wait for perfect strategy• think big and think strategically – but get going• there is a solid base of evidence, provider experience, commitment and community connections to build on• have set out a roadmap – of strategies, principles and tools -- to drive equity into action through policy change and community mobilization• many within the health system and beyond have long experience and strong commitment to equity → build on this to drive coordinated and coherent system-wide equity agenda into action• work in partnerships and collaborations well beyond the health care system to address the underlying determinants of health inequalities46
    47. 47. Following Up• these speaking notes and further resources on policy directions to enhance health equity, health reform and the social determinants of health are available on our site at• my email is• I would be interested in any comments on the ideas in this presentation and any information or analysis on initiatives or experience that address health equity 47
    48. 48. Wellesley Roadmap for Action on the Social Determinants of Health1. look widely for ideas and inspiration from jurisdictions with comprehensive health equity policies, and adapt flexibly to Canadian, provincial and local needs and opportunities;2. address the fundamental social determinants of health inequality – macro policy is crucial, reducing overall social and economic inequality and enhancing social mobility are the pre-conditions for reducing health disparities over the long- term;3. develop a coherent overall strategy, but split it into actionable and manageable components that can be moved on;4. act across silos – inter-sectoral and cross-government collaboration and coordination are vital;5. set and monitor targets and incentives – cascading through all levels of government and programme action; 48
    49. 49. Wellesley Roadmap II6 rigorously evaluate the outcomes and potential of programme initiatives and investments – to build on successes and scale up what is working;7 act on equity within the health system: • making equity a core objective and driver of health system reform – every bit as important as quality and sustainability; • eliminating unfair and inefficient barriers to access to the care people need; • targeting interventions and enhanced services to the most health disadvantaged populations;8 invest in those levers and spheres that have the most impact on health disparities such as: • enhanced primary care for the most under-served or disadvantaged populations; • integrated health, child development, language, settlement, employment, and other community-based social services; 49
    50. 50. Wellesley Roadmap III9 act locally – through well-focussed regional, local or neighbourhood cross- sectoral collaborations and integrated initiatives;10 invest up-stream through an equity lens – in health promotion, chronic care prevention and management, and tackling the roots of health disparities;11 build on the enormous amount of local imagination and innovation going on among service providers and communities across the country;12 pull all this innovation, experience and learning together into a continually evolving repertoire of effective programme and policy instruments, and into a coherent and coordinated overall strategy for health equity. 50