Document Type



Improving the health of all peoples has been a call across the globe for many decades and unfortunately remains relevant today, particularly given the large disparities in health status of peoples found around the world. Rather than differences in health, or health inequalities, we use a different term, health inequities. This is so as mere differences in health (or "inequalities") can be common in societies and do not necessarily reflect unfair social policies or practices. For example, natural ageing implies older people are more prone to illness. Yet, when differences are systematic, socially produced and unfair, these are considered health inequities. Certainly making judgments on what is systematic, socially produced and unfair, reflects value judgments and merit open debate. We are making explicit in this paper what our judgments are, and the basis for these judgments


Diseases; Equality; Health services accessibility; Older people; Older people--Health and hygiene; Older people--Medical care; Social policy


Community Health | Demography, Population, and Ecology | Inequality and Stratification | Public Health


Copyright World Health Organization. Used with permission.