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  • December-21-20

    “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...

  • December-21-20

    This document is intended to enable public health actors to more easily distinguish between the most widespread policy approaches that have been proposed to reduce health inequalities. The approaches that we will discuss are:

    • Political economy,
    • Macro social policies,
    • Intersectionality,
    • Life course approach,
    • Settings approach,
    • Approaches that aim at living conditions,
    • Approaches that target communities, and
    • Approaches aimed at individuals.

    Health inequalities1 are understood to be unfair and systematic differences in health among and between social groups – differences which need to be addressed through action. These result from social and political circumstances and are therefore potentially avoidable.

    With this document, we have set out to shed some light on the ways that various broad policy approaches attempt to account for and address health...

  • December-21-20

    Intersectionality is a way to think about and act upon social inequality and discrimination. It offers a promising approach to these issues within public policy and within public health. This briefing note briefly explains intersectionality and explores the potential of an intersectional approach to reducing health inequalities.1

    Work in the field of public health has recognized for some time that the social location2 of groups and individuals has a significant impact on health. When health outcomes are compared by income, gender, race or education, to name just a few, a picture emerges that clearly shows that these factors play key roles in determining health and well-being. People living in poverty, for example, have higher rates of many diseases and die younger than those in higher-income groups. Racialized groups in Canada also have poorer health outcomes than white Canadians and women often have disadvantaged...