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J Korean Med Assoc > Volume 56(3); 2013 > Article
Journal of the Korean Medical Association 2013;56(3):195-205.
Published online March 19, 2013.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5124/jkma.2013.56.3.195   
Global trends in health equity policy: lessons from experiences in the UK, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the World Health Organization
Tae Ho Yoon
Department of Preventive Medicine and Occupational Medicine, Pusan National University School of Medicine, Yangsan, Korea. yoonth@pusan.ac.kr
Health equity is not just concerned with health care; rather, it is an issue of fairness and social justice. Equity-oriented health policies have increasingly been recognized as important public health issues for the last decades. This study investigates the blueprints for health equity policy that have been made in several developed countries or international organizations. From the late 1990s, national committees in the UK, the Netherlands, and Sweden have proposed comprehensive policies to strengthen health equity. In addition, the World Health Organization and its European regional office have developed policies for their member countries. Several lessons can be drawn from a review of the major blueprints: 1) setting attainable and quantitative targets, 2) action across all the social determinants of health, not just health care services, 3) giving the best start in early life for all children, 4) building equity-oriented universal health care systems, 5) political commitment, 6) participation and democratic decision making at the local level, and 7) monitoring and evaluation of health inequalities and their determinants.
Key Words: Health, Equity, Policy, Social determinants
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