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Health equity 

Health equity
Chapter:
Health equity
Author(s):

Hideki Hashimoto

, and Norito Kawakami

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198792994.003.0013
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date: 24 November 2020

Health equity examines the circumstances in which there are no unnecessary or unavoidable disparities in health consequences and/or access to resources and opportunities in order to achieve health in the context of an individual’s needs so that society can realize justice as a whole. What exactly should be achieved for equity depends on the ethical basis referred to. Mental ill health can be a consequence and a cause of health inequity. The chapter reviews how inequity in socio-economic conditions and capabilities, including—but not limited to—access to healthcare services, affects people’s risk of mental ill health from the life course perspective. It also reviews the social stigma and subsequent social exclusion of those with mental ill health, which further precludes health equity. Finally, the concept of ‘social determinants of health’ as a policy agenda to realize health equity in public mental health provision is reviewed.

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