Working for Health Equity: The Role of Health Professionals

Health Equity



Report abstract

This report demonstrates that the healthcare system and those working within it have an important and often under-utilised role in reducing health inequalities through action on the social determinants of health. The health workforce are, after all, well placed to initiate and develop services that take into account and attempt to improve the wider social context for patients and staff. 

The report discusses the best ways to reduce inequities through workforce education and training, practical actions to be taken during interactions with patients, ways of working in partnership, and the role of advocacy. It also includes a section on the health system, which analyses which mechanisms and structures are supportive of actions to reduce health inequality, and where further development might be needed.

Throughout the report, we have gathered a series of commitments by health workforce and other organisations to embed and develop action on the social determinants and these form the basis for an on-going programme of work led by IHE in partnership with royal colleges, the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, the BMA, and other organisations and institutions.  The report also provides statements for action developed by health professional organisations which seek to give practical accessible tools for particular professionals to develop and use in their roles.

On the 18th March 2013 we launched the report with a conference at the BMA. We have made available the presentations given at the launch conference, and news coverage of the report.

Cecil Wilson, president of the WMA, who spoke at the launch, has written a blog about the report, as have the Wellesley Institute, and Professor Sir Michael Marmot.

The full report and executive summary are available above. There are also some supporting documents available:

- The case studies from the report

- The commitments to action made by health organisations, which will form the basis of a programme of work

- A list of those royal colleges and other professional associations who contributed sections to the report.

The IHE is now co-ordinating a programme of work on this agenda. For more information, or if you would like a hard copy of the report to be sent to you, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Full Report Click Here

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