Practice

There are many proven practices and actions to reduce health inequalities. Such practices can come from within health systems, for example through increasing cancer screening amongst vulnerable groups. They can also involve collaboration between and within sectors, such as taking transport measures to reduce urban pollution in deprived areas.

 

Examples of successful health inequalities practices taking place throughout Europe are available in our resource database.

 


Practices to reduce health inequalities

A significant amount of knowledge about how to address health inequalities has emerged over the past few decades. New ideas are still being developed.

The historical context, approaches to governance, and ‘traditions’ of countries differ, and influence the extent and nature of their response to health inequalities. Equally, different settings and contexts have different needs.

Collecting and sharing examples of practices to reduce health inequalities and their outcomes can inform and inspire further action to encourage governments to “do something, do more, or do better”1WHO/Europe | Publications - Review of social determinants and the health divide in the WHO European Region. Executive summary (2013) to reduce them, in particular while planning the recovery of the current pandemic.

Practices to reduce health inequalites include comprehensive strategies - with established targets, as well as more specific initiatives and programmes. For example:

Comprehensive strategies:
Specific programmes:

Additional Practices

Additional Practices that can contribute to reducing health inequalities can be found in the EU Best Practice Portal in the field of Health Promotion, Disease Prevention and Management of Non-Communicable Diseases. Equity is a core-criteria for inclusion.

EuroHealthNet has established a Thematic Working Group (TWIG) on “good” or “best practice portals” where members will explore the ‘core criteria’ that are central to all portals. The Health Promotion Documentation Centre (DoRS) and the National Institute of Health (ISS) have for example developed such a Portal that is focused specifically on sharing equity-oriented practices: The Catalogue of Equity-Oriented Actions (CARE).

Projects which strengthen employment and mobility, improve education and give everyone a chance and are funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) can be found online.

The EU Joint Action on Health Inequalities is also implementing and evaluating a wide range of actions EU Member States relating to monitoring, healthy living environments, migration and health, improving access to health and social services, and governance / Health in All Policies.

Looking for more information on EU-funded actions that address health inequalities?


COVID-19 and Health Equity Practices

Some specific practices that can contribute to reducing existing health inequalities as a result of Covid-19 pandemic include:


The EuroHealthNet Practice Platform

EuroHealthNet’s Practice Platform supports actions to reduce health inequalities in countries and across Europe. The Platform looks at how research and policy can be applied.

The Platform helps organisations to build capacity and share knowledge about ‘what works’. Through this exchange they are able to reinforce resources, collaborate, and shape international initiatives. The platform supports members to use EU funding instruments to impliment cost-effective and sustainable health practices, policies, and programmes.

Every year, EuroHealthNet organises 'Country Exchange Visits' in which senior staff from EuroHealthNet member organisations visit each other to discuss how they address common problems. These visits are an opportunity to showcase good practices, analyse, receive feedback, and initiate follow up actions. Although the visits are available for members only, you can find reports of the meetings and descriptions of the practices by searching 'study visit' in our database. Recent events have covered:

  • The promotion of psycho-social health: multidisciplinary, integrated and institutional approaches to prevent violent behaviours and support victims of violence. Hosted by The Directorate for Citizenship Rights and Social Cohesion of the Region of Tuscany, Italy.
  • Promoting Healthy Diets amongst children. Hosted by the Austrian Health Promotion Foundation (FGÖ).
  • Health Inequalities, de-institutionalisation and social inclusion of people with chronic diseases and mental ill health. Hosted by the Bulgarian National Centre of Public Health and Analyses in Sofia (NCPHA).
  • Giving all young children a healthy start: an exchange on evidence-based interventions. Hosted by Santé Publique France in Saint-Maurice, France.
  • Migrant and refugee health, hosted by Prolepsis.
  • Approaches to suicide prevention and Mental Health Promotion in Stockholm and in the European Union. Hosted by Stockholm County Council: Health Care Services and the National Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention of Mental lll-Health (NASP).

To find out more about the work of the Platform and how to take part, visit our website.

 


 

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