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European Public Health WEEK

11-15 May 2020

 

Joining forces for healthier populations



 

Thursday 14 May: 

EQUAL HEALTH FOR ALL

Equal health for all - ThursdayMore equality in health will create more equal societies. Improving health and well-being for all will bring wider economic, social and environmental benefits. The circumstances in which we are born, grow up, live, work and age should not affect our chance of good health. How does your region ensure equal health for all?

 

 

COVID-19 and equal health for all

The importance of public health; at-risk groups; health inequalities during the pandemic

Sub-themes 

Social and economic inequalities; leaving no one behind; vulnerable groups e.g. homeless, ethnic minorities, LGBT

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KEY MESSAGES

  1. At a time of crisis due to COVID-19, we must ensure that the same protection and services are afforded to everyone in society and be particularly mindful of the most vulnerable. Vulnerable groups must be protected from the adverse impacts of the pandemic response measures as well as from the coronavirus itself.
  2. The health sector’s actions and interventions are necessary but health inequalities will not be eradicated by health systems alone. Only if we have the political and communication skills can the public health community work with sectors outside of health – agriculture, education, housing, industry, and others contributing to better living conditions – to reducing inequalities and improving health and well-being for all.
  3. Evidence alone will not bring about behaviour change. What is needed is a political commitment to bring about change. For this, all drivers influencing health, including the social, political and commercial determinants, need to be taken into account.
  4. Ill health among the most disadvantaged is not simply bad luck or the result of poor health care but results from a combination of unfair economic arrangements, poor social policies, and stigma.
  5. All actors in public health policy should commit to leaving no one behind, voicing knowledge, translating evidence to politics, building capacity and including health in all policies.
  6. Reducing health inequalities is crucial to ensure better health for the population as a whole, which will result in a positive development of the society.

 

OTHER FACTS AND FIGURES

  • In some countries, for some indicators, there have been improvements but unfortunately, most factors influencing health equality have not changed in the last ten years.  
  • There is a housing crisis and a rise in homelessness; an increasing number of people have insufficient money to lead a healthy life; and there are more ignored communities with poor conditions and little reason for hope.
  • National programmes in various European countries to tackle health inequalities have so far been only partly successful, and have shown that we need to re-think what is needed to measurably reduce health inequalities.
  • Stigma not only directly impacts health, but it may also lead to economic disadvantages, disadvantages in the healthcare system, and risk for homelessness; all with their own toll on health. Many vulnerable groups deal with stigmas based on various motivations: xenophobia, racism, homophobia etc.

 

Public Health Ethics and ‘The Science of Social Justice’

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REFERENCES

 

Partners of this day:

            

EUPHA Sections: Sexual and Gender Minority Health | Food and Nutrition | Public Health Epidemiology | Public Health Monitoring and Reporting | Public Mental Health