Concepts of Inequality Essay

2122 Words Jun 21st, 2013 9 Pages
In this essay I will define the concepts of inequality, accessibility and community participation in health care. I will also discuss these concepts and explain their origins in relation to the Ottawa Charter and the Declaration of Alma Ata. Furthermore I will provide examples of how these concepts are being addressed in New Zealand health policy.

Inequality in Health
Discussion and Definition of the Concept Within New Zealand significant inequalities in health exist. The reasons for these inequalities are linked with socioeconomic status, ethnicity, gender and the geographical area in which people live. There is also statistical evidence which highlights the fact that Maori, Pacific Islanders and people from lower
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This drastic difference brings to light the extreme inequality between Maori and the rest of New Zealand’s population. Although no single factor is to blame many Maori live in circumstances associated with an increased risk of poor health such as sub-standard over-crowded housing which can increase the likelihood of infectious diseases, respiratory problems and possibly even violence and sexual abuse. These circumstances must be addressed for improvement in Maori health to take place.

Historical Origins from Seminal Documents The Declaration of Alma Ata signed in 1978 is one of the most influential founding documents concerning primary health care, it identified the immediate and ongoing need to ‘protect and promote the health of all the people of the world’ (WHO, 2006). The Alma Ata set the world a goal, it declared that by the year 2000 all people should reach an adequate level of health which would allow them to live productive lives. This was to be achieved by collaboration, using the resources of the world to their full capacity and ensuring that primary health care was given the resources necessary to reach this objective. This goal, although seemingly farfetched, was a tool to navigate and direct governments toward health for all and the reduction of inequalities in health.

Examples from New Zealand Health Policy The current New Zealand health strategy has a strong focus on

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