Health Inequity Outcome Analysis

Junior (College 3rd year) ・Healthcare&Medicine ・APA ・11 Sources

The World Health Organization health equity monitor displays health equity to be the absence of unfair and avoidable unequal health treatment of people on the basis of any factor that can cause unfair health treatment. Its statistic and the data on their system, people are experiencing unfair treatment on the basis of social, geographical, demographic or economic factors. It however states that in order to determine the vulnerability of people to such practices, a clear study on the mentioned aspects should be carried out to also track the differences that result and the overall effect the practice has on the health goals. The health policies advocate for equal and fair health treatment of all people regardless of gender, social class, indignity or the ethnicity. However, such practices concerning fair health treatments have continually been violated (Warwick-Booth, 2013). The standard indicator of the inequity in health outcomes therefore lies within these aspects. This assignment evaluates the question of whether health inequality outcome is inevitable on the basis of class.

Class and Health Inequality Outcome Analysis

According to the study of recent large scale British health treatment, poverty has a large influence on the health of people. Wealth on the other side, has a positive impact on the health treatment of people too. The differences in poverty and health levels determine the ‘worst health’ or the ‘best health’ that the people can access. Statistics show that about one million Britons had the worst health with greater mortality rates compared to the small scales of people in Briton with good health. The life span perspective owing to the health differences among the two social classes was such that the people with worst health had shorter life proximity compared to their counterparts. The social economic differences between the two groups were due to accumulation of materials and the material differences between the two groups (Bradby, 2012).

The health inequality could be analyzed by looking at the material disadvantage that led to poor health outcomes. Findings showed that the magnitude in the health inequalities increased in response to the increasing disparities in the health and income. In as much as government policies have been put in place to reduce the gap between the social classes that result in unequal health treatment, it is surprising that the gap continues to widen even further. The differences in life span perspective owing to such unequal health treatment could be analyzed on the scale of the infant mortality rates, poverty, school failure, unemployment, long –term illnesses, disability or even car or home ownership (Great Britain, 2010). The differences in the in the social and economic factors presented the health differences such that, if one belongs to a lower social class, the probability of them receiving proper health care is minimal due to health care costs. It can be said that the relationship between health and wealth capabilities are interrelated such that poor socioeconomic capability translates to poor health and poor health treatment while high socioeconomic capability, likewise translated to better health due to ability to access better health treatment facilities owing to material advantage. This is so because if one does not have sufficient funds to cater for their health bills, they may not be able to acquire the services of a professional doctor or if they are lucky enough to get such services, they still may not be able to have funds to purchase the medicines that they may require for their treatment. Using both best and worst health reference groups in the Britain health statistics, a disturbing picture can be seen on the mortality rates owing to the difference in social class among the Britons. The lower class citizens’ mortality rate is highly attributed to by the inability to access the medical services since they do not have the funds needed for the medical services needed and some of they have income levels that are below the federal poverty line which hinders them from being able to purchase medical insurance policies and as a result, they can’t be able to acquire medical care. The medical institutions and the government can also be blamed for promoting the inequality in health services due to social classes since there are no insurance premiums that favor the below federal poverty income earners insurance and barring them from accessing medical services since they cannot afford the services on contributes to high mortality rates.

It could be seen that the percentage of people who lived below the average income and housing costs increased from 8 percent in 1977 to 24 percent in 1995 and the resulting effect reflected on the poor health areas which in turn increase from 8 percent to 25 percent. The key in reducing health inequality between the social classes’ only lies in reducing the gap that exists between the rich and the poor, which is a hard call since the question of bridging the gap between the rich and the poor people has been found to be unavoidable. This factor renders inequality to health outcomes inevitable; as long as the gap between the rich and the poor exists. Labor policies and other policies used to bring about equality in health practices can be found to be appealing. Such policies present change in tax structure of people in different social classes, strengthening of the services, improved equity in service delivery, increased payments through pension schemes, and disability and social assistance, however, these practices have offered a temporary solution to the health inequality factors and no temporary solution to this unequal health treatment has been found so far (Great Britain, 2010).

The world health organization report in 2008 in Canada showed that if people got sick they had to choose to go without treatment. The tax based insurance scheme presented led to country wide adoption of universal health across Canada, unfortunately, it was discovered that the call for greater equity in health for most world’s health care systems was inevitable since the health care systems continually relied on the inequitable methods of financing health care services. The low and the middle income families were found to be deprived of the needed health care services which they could not exactly access since some of the health institutions advocated for out of pocket payment scheme which if one lacked at the moment had no option but to go without treatment. Wealth evidence on the other hand, presented financial protection of belter health since ones’ financial capability presented them with a health commanding power.

With secure finances, one was able to access all the needed health treatment and health care afterwards. The out of pocket payment scheme that was advocated for in the Canadian health institutions, created the increase in the difference health treatments that over time became inevitable and a solution to the difference became a challenge later since it presented inequality in health provisions and unequal opportunities for care. The boundaries in the health treatment which presented the differences in health outcomes stemmed out of social matter. The health systems used were such that they could not move the quality and the burden of payment and the clinical practices conducted towards greater equity dimensions. First, level care was found to be inequitable such that they presented higher quality services to rich people compared to the poor people who seemed to be in greater health need. The differences in the vulnerability and the exposure combined with the inequalities in health care that led to unequal health outcomes (In Smith, In Hill & In Bambra, 2016). The cycle of the inequality indifferences raised the concerns to the health system managers, however, the solution to their problem could not be found.

It takes a wide range of interventions to tackle the social determinants of health so as to make the health systems contribute to health equity (McDonnell, 2009). These interventions that are to be used reach well beyond the traditional realm of health service provision policies and the reliance on the mobilization of the stake holders and constituencies that are outside the health sector. This call is a hard task and it requires skilled and determined leadership and management that can be able to streamline the system such to adjust it to the requirements of the exterior health determinants. The need of such multiple strategies and adjustments could discourage some health leaders who in the end may feel that the health inequality is a societal problem over which they have little influence on and unknowingly rendering the solution to inequity in the health outcomes due to unequal health provisions inevitable and unsolvable. It is however the role and the responsibilities of health leaders to address the health inequality which at the moment seems to be out of hand (Wistow, 2015). He shows the evidence of social class inequality in in health institutions where employment patterns reflect the social gradient and in turn, accesses to medical services. The poor people incur risk of their physical and medical health worsening due to inability to receive proper health care. Income was also shown to be an equality tool in health provision such that the low income earners would cut their consumption budgets in order to access medical care and without knowing, compromising their overall health standards due poor living standards or inability to have balanced diet or other issues related to their compromise o access health services. Health protection schemes provide an opportunity for the low and the middle income people to access better health thus creating an equity in health provision by use of systems such as the breadth of coverage - the proportion of the population that enjoys social health protection and expands progressively to incorporate the uninsured population due to their financial inability to access services and social protection in health care, use of depth of coverage that is necessary to address the people’s health needs appropriately by taking into account the demand and the expectations with regard to the resources the society is willing and able to allocate to the health systems. The third approach used is the height of coverage approach which presents the portion of health care costs that are covered through pooling and pre-payment which diminishes the out of pocket co-payments during service delivery (World Health Organization, 2008). The diagram below presents the dimensions to be used.

Reinert shows that income, inequality and health are all interrelated such that the higher income, is associated with better health standards within a country and across all countries (Reinert, 2009). He says that cross country studies show that the aggregate health measures such as life expectancy are closely co-related with the income per-capita and that the link between income and life expectancy levels appears to be strongest for the low income countries and persons but that there is more inequality in terms of health outcomes between the rich and the poor: although the potential health gains are associated with the higher incomes, the latter is appears to be greatest in the low income persons and countries since they have impact on health factors such as the public health infrastructure, or inefficiencies in delivery of the public health services which result into different health outcomes. He suggests that rapid economic development is sometimes associated with an increase in income inequality which may result in ability or inability access to health services across groups. He says that poverty and health outcomes provide evidences for the inequality in the health provisions. Financial sector development is slow and therefore limits access to health insurance in many developing countries. One can therefore get the impression that the health risks are associated with material living standards and that in developing countries. The out- of –pocket expenditures in private sectors are higher and therefore, the poor segments of the population cannot compensate for the health care. The correlation between increase in income and the life expectancy has as a result contributed to each individual improving their living standards (Hyde, McDonnell & Lohan, 2004).

Rhodes similarly shows that inequality in health outcomes is inevitable despite the proclaimed commitment to justice. He shows how the income levels of people and the social class result into unequal health outcomes. The evidence of the inequality due to social classes is clearly presented in the Beveridge report of 1942 that led to the setting up of the welfare state in the United Kingdom. According to the report, people received treatment based on their working class and their economic state and the people with the lowest working class were treated unfairly or even neglected in health care matters. His study shows how the class related inequalities in mortality rate were observed in almost every country and there was also data that could be used to prove that. He attributes the inequality to up to three quarter deaths and the magnitude varied from country to country. The Magnitude of the social class inequality in health was also shown in England where the mortality rates for unskilled men was about 80% higher than the mortality rate of the professionals (Rhodes 2002). The social position affected the individuals was co-related to their health outcomes and the second degree of social inequality in the community correlated with the average outcomes of the community. Inequality in health outcomes could also be shown based on the economic state of cities such that cities with low per-capita income were seen to have higher death rates compared to the other cities.

The health equity tool assessment kit used by world health Organization was developed to facilitate the assessment of health within a country. The toolkit was organized around two main components which include: exploration of inequality and the comparison of the inequality. The exploration of inequality enables users of the software program to explore the possible conditions within a country that result in inequality and cause the change in the inequalities over time. The comparison inequality is a tool that was developed to enable the users to compare the health situations of some countries to the health situation and implications in other countries. The data and summaries obtained can then be used to measure the impact of health inequality and whether or not it can be removed (Clavier, 2013).


The discussion above shows that there exists health inequality owing to several factors such as gender, social class, indigeneity and ethnicity. A closer look on the inequality in health outcomes due to social classes depicts the fact that health provision, access and treatment are determined by ones financial and material capability to access the health services. Inequality in health outcomes can therefore be evitable if there is collective effort to eradicate the inequality.


Bradby, H. (2012). Medicine, health and society: A critical sociology. Los Angeles: SAGE.

Clavier, C., & De, L. E. (2013). Health Promotion and the Policy Process. Oxford: OUP Oxford.

Great Britain. (2010). Tackling inequalities in life expectancy in areas with the worst health and deprivation. Third report of session 2010-11; report, together with formal minutes, oral and written evidence. Norwich: TSO.

Hyde, A., McDonnell, O., & Lohan, M. (2004). Sociology for health professionals in Ireland. Dublin: Institute of Public Administration.

In Smith, K. E., In Hill, S., & In Bambra, C. (2016). Health inequalities: Critical perspectives.

McDonnell, O. (2009). Social Theory. Palgrave Macmillan.

Reinert, K. A., Rajan, R. S., Glass, A. J., & Davis, L. S. (2009). The Princeton encyclopedia of the world economy. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Rhodes, R., Battin, M. P., & Silvers, A. (2002). Medicine and social justice: Essays on the distribution of health care. Oxford: Oxford University Press

Warwick-Booth, L. (2013). Social Inequality: A Student's Guide

Wistow, Jonathan., Blackman, Tim., Byrne, David., & Wistow, Gerald. (2015). Studying Health Inequalities. Policy Pr.

World Health Organization. (2008). The world health report 2008: Primary health care : now more than ever. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization.

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