Policy Approaches to Reducing Health Inequalities: Social Determinants of Health and Social Determinants of Health Inequalities
“The social determinants of health are the circumstances in which people are born,grow up, live, work and age, and the systems put in place to deal with illness. These circumstances are in turn shaped by a wider set of forces: economics, social policies, and politics” (World Health Organization’s Commission on Social Determinants of Health [CSDH WHO], 2016).
“The underlying social structures and processes that systematically assign people to different social positions and distribute the social determinants of health unequally in society are the social determinants of health inequities” (VicHealth, 2015, p. 6).
This paper is part of a series of short documents based on the longer Briefing Note, Policy Approaches to Reducing Health Inequalities, published by the National Collaborating Centre for Healthy Public Policy in March, 2016. The series is meant to provide a brief discussion of each of the eight policy approaches discussed in the longer document as well as provide a conceptual context for this work.
This first in the series of short documents explores the difference between the social determinants of health and the social determinants of health inequalities. The objective is to enable public health actors to distinguish between policy approaches to reducing health inequalities by familiarizing them with how acting on the social determinants of health is distinct from acting on the social determinants of health inequalities. Both are important for the development of healthy public policies but only the latter is likely to have significant and lasting impact on health inequalities.
To access the complete briefing note, click here: http://www.ncchpp.ca/141/publications.ccnpps?id_article=1548