European structural and investment funds for health: Guidance tool & health equity

The Structural Funds Guidance Tool for Health equity has been developed by EuroHealthNet as part of Equity Action, which is the EU funded Joint Action on Health Inequalities. The tool provides you with concrete examples and the practical information on Structural Funds and health equity that can directly be applied.

Structural and Investment Funds offer great opportunities for the improvement of health and health equity. Although health (equity) is not explicitly mentioned in the Structural and Investment Funds headline objectives and has not been allocated any specific budget, health is explicitly included in priorities relating to, for example, ‘Improving Employment’ and ‘Social Inclusion and Combating Poverty’. Public health actors should thus look into other sector areas to identify funding opportunities.

Health inequalities are unfair distributions of health across societies within and between EU Member StatesThey are systematic differences in health between social groups, which exist due to different variables that determine the risk of getting ill, the ability to prevent sickness or the opportunity of access to suitable treatment. To address these variables, the so-called ‘social determinants of health’, action beyond the health sector is needed.

Health is everywhere; it can be influenced by other sectors and can be used to positively impact non-health sector investments. The Structural and Investment Funds are based around 11 thematic objectives that are linked to EU 2020. Although health is not one of them, health (equity) elements can be found within each of the 11 non-health sector objectives.

To access the guidance tool on European structural and Investment Funds for health - click here

The publication, “Health Equity and Regional Development in the EU (Applying EU Structural Funds)" is available here