EuroHealthNet will organize a Workshop on "Applying EU Structural Funds for greater Health Equity" at the Committee of the Regions in Brussels on26 March2013.
Case Studies from 24 EU Regions showcase what they are doing to improve health equity
Twenty five participants from 12 EU MemberStates taking part in the Joint Action on Health Inequalities' Regional Network, coordinated by EuroHealthNet, have developed case studies that showcase what they are doing to improve health equity in their regions.
The case studies reflect that some countries are putting in place comprehensive governance approaches involving the national, regional and local levels to reduce health inequalities. Some regions are taking comprehensive action without explicit national level support, by e.g. developing an Action Plan for Health Equity. Many case studies describe practices that contribute to reducing health inequalities, such as elaborate health promotion networks or the "Large Scale Change" approach to reduce rates of alcohol-related hospital admissions. In addition the case studies describe a number of tools, such as Impact Assessment tools and the establishment of regional networks and working groups that focus on the reduction of health inequalities. The aim of the case studies is to capture and share such examples of how regions are addressing health inequalities, to inform and inspire further regional and local-level action.
It is clear from the case studies that making real inroads in reducing health inequalities requires commitment across governments and sectors. A wide range of actors must work together to ensure that policies and practices improve conditions for the more and most-deprived segments of the population, and don't exacerbate inequalities, including health inequalities. In some countries and regions, the challenge still lies in getting the issue of health inequalities onto the political agenda. All regions face the challenge of engaging those sectors and actors that can make 'hard' impact on the reduction of health inequalities, and in attributing changes in levels of health inequalities to any specific policies. Overall however, the Equity Action case study reports demonstrate that in many regions the issue is getting at least some attention, reflecting that there is potential for progress.
Embedding health equity in governance and policy structures and engaging other actors and sectors is certainly no easy task. The case study reports provide examples of possible entry points. Sharing learning across regions and building on experiences like those outlined in the reports is an important part of this process.
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Equity Action Regional Network partners have also been active in identifying how EU Structural Funds have and can be applied to reduce health inequalities.
For more information
The Equity Action Regional Network is part of the Joint Action on Health Inequalities involving 12 EU Member States and the European Commission (DG SANCO). More information about the Joint Equity Action is available on the Health Inequalities Portal.
An overview analysis report of the regional case studies, as well as the regional case study reports and summaries of these, are available here.