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The Concepts and Principles of Equity and Health


All the 32 member states in the World Health Organization European Region adopted a common health policy in 1980), followed by unanimous agreement on 38 regional targets in 1984. The first of these targets is concerned with equity.

However, it has not always been clear what is meant by equity and health and this paper sets out to clarify the concepts and principles. This is not meant to be a technical document, but one aimed at raising awareness and stimulating debate in a wide general audience, including all those whose policies have an influence on health, both within and outside the health sector.

Primary Toolkit:

Health Equity and Social Justice Toolkit

Keyword Area:

Health Equity, Social Justice


Institutional Author:

Margaret Whitehead




The NACCHO Toolbox is a repository of available resources to help local public health practitioners. Tools are produced by local, state, and federal agencies, as well as academic institutions and other stakeholders. The contents of this Toolbox are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect any official recommendations of NACCHO. NACCHO makes no express or implied warranty with respect to the contents and disclaims liability for any damages arising from or connected to the use of the material in this Toolbox.