Addressing health equity: insights from data analysis and collaboration

Published 29 May 2024

Tanisha Rajesh Ahuja

Digital health intern at Beamtree | Medical science | Neuroscience | University of Sydney

Health equity remains a pressing issue in healthcare, characterized by disparities in access to and quality of healthcare services in which it poses a significant problem as it perpetuates unjust disparities in access to healthcare services and health outcomes among different population groups. Individuals facing barriers to healthcare due to factors such as socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, gender, or geographical location are disproportionately burdened by illness and disease. Despite ongoing efforts, health inequalities persist, necessitating innovative approaches to address these disparities.

Our project focused on defining health equity and developing methods to measure disparities in equity. Drawing on frameworks from the UK, Australia, and New Zealand, the project aimed to identify factors contributing to health disparities and explore potential interventions. Using data analysis techniques, we examined sociodemographic and health-related characteristics to assess their impact on healthcare outcomes.

By analyzing data from various sources, we identified key determinants of equity, including age, indigeneity, socioeconomic status, and geographical location, of which were mainly measured through potentially preventable hospitalizations, length of stay (days) and hospital acquired complications. Our findings underscored the importance of addressing systemic barriers and promoting fairness in healthcare delivery especially for those disadvantaged: individuals who identify as being of aboriginal origin, those that come from a lower socioeconomic background as well as those that are older in age.

Health inequity is particularly urgent to address now due to its profound impact on public health and social justice. Addressing health inequity is crucial to ensure that all individuals, regardless of their background or circumstances, have equal opportunities to attain good health. Moreover, promoting health equity is not only a moral imperative but also essential for achieving sustainable development goals and building resilient communities. By prioritizing efforts to reduce health disparities and improve healthcare access for marginalized populations, we can create a more inclusive and equitable society where everyone has the chance to thrive.

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