Health Equity vs Health Equality: What Are the Differences?

In a perfect world, all people would have equal opportunities to be healthy. Unfortunately, that’s not the case, especially if you’re a member of a marginalized group.

When people think about health and healthcare, they often conflate the concepts of health equity and health equality.

While the idea of health equity is great, the problem is when we start thinking about it regarding health equality. After all, equality is not just given to us.

So what are the key differences and similarities between health equity vs health equality? We’ve put together this guide and listed everything you need to know.

Defining Health Equity and Health Equality

Many different terms are used when talking about health and fair health outcomes. These include health equity and health equality. While there is an overlap between these terms, they are not interchangeable.

Health equity refers to the idea that everyone should have a fair and just opportunity to achieve their best possible health. People should have access to the resources and conditions that enable good health. This includes quality healthcare, nutritious food, and safe neighborhoods.

Meanwhile, health equality is the idea that everyone should have the same level of health. This is not always possible to achieve.

Key Differences Between Health Equity vs Health Equality

The two concepts are often confused, but they are not the same. There are some key differences between them.

The goal of health equity is to reduce differences in health. In contrast, health equality aims to ensure that everyone has the same.

Health equity won’t discriminate against race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, age, or disability. Everyone has the same opportunity to be healthy. 

Health equality, on the other hand, is about ensuring no inequality between different groups of people, regardless of their social position or other factors. This is not possible without first achieving health equity.

Both are important, but health equity is more important because it addresses the root causes of poor health. We will never have true health equality if we don’t deal with the things that cause poor health in the first place.

The Benefits of Striving for Health Equity

Striving for health equity would help close the gap in healthcare disparities in the United States. It would also improve the population’s health.

Everyone would have better access to preventive care, treatment, and other vital health services, And there will be a more fair and just society.

The investment approach is one way of achieving health equity. It involves increasing investment in health care and public health initiatives in areas with the most need. This is done to level the playing field and give everyone a fair chance at good health.

Redistributing resources in this way is the best way to achieve health equity. And it is a more feasible goal than health equality.

Achieving Good Health For All!

Health equity vs health equality are two essential concepts often used interchangeably. But there are some crucial differences between the two.

At their core, both concepts are about ensuring that everyone has the same opportunities to achieve good health. Yet, health equity goes further than health equality. With health equity, you consider the factors that can impact someone’s ability to achieve good health.

Both health equity and health equality are important goals to strive for. We must ensure that everyone has a chance to live a long and healthy life.

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