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Health Equity Indicators

Population & Public Health Surveillance has led and facilitated the development of a suite of priority health equity indicators to inform equity target-setting and support stakeholders’ efforts in improving, monitoring, and measuring equity work in BC.

Program Summary

Since 2008, Population and Public Health Surveillance has worked in partnership with the Health Officers Council of BC (HOCBC), the Ministry of Health, regional health authorities, and health organizations on health promotion and chronic disease prevention strategies aimed at reducing health inequities.

In 2011, PHSA released a report, Towards reducing health inequities: A health system approach to chronic disease prevention, that focused on actions the health system can take to reduce health inequities. The report recommended several actions that could promote the design and delivery of a health care system that would not exacerbate or increase health inequities. One of the report's recommendations was to set health equity targets and plans in consultation with communities and community members and actively monitor and measure their impact on health inequities.

In support of developing health equity targets, we collaborated with health sector partners to develop a prioritized suite of health equity indicators for BC. This suite of 52 priority health equity indicators, released in 2014, could be used to provide evidence of health inequities in BC across various geographic, demographic and socio-economic dimensions, as a first step towards creating future action on equity. Since then, we have been reporting data related to these priority health equity indicators.

Project Reporting

Priority health equity indicators for British Columbia: Preventable and treatable premature mortality

This report provides data on health inequities in B.C. based on preventable and treatable premature mortality, covering the period from 2009 to 2013. Released: November 2019

Priority health equity indicators for BC: Selected indicators report

This report summarizes 16 of the 52 prioritized health equity indicators for BC. It provides current evidence for some health inequities in early life, adolescence, and adulthood among BC populations across geographic, demographic and socio-economic dimensions. Released: January 2016

Developing priority health equity indicators for British Columbia: Process & outcome report

Describes the process used to develop a set of priority population-level health equity indicators that may be useful to monitor health equity across B.C. Released: October 2014


Promoting health equity: Choosing appropriate indicators: Literature scan

Literature scan on appropriate indicators to measure health equity in B.C.'s health system. Released: March 2013

Towards reducing health inequities: A health system approach to chronic disease prevention

This discussion paper outlines the actions the health system can take to promote health equity and ensure its policies, programs, and services are available, accessible, and acceptable to all. Released: 2010-2011

In developing the discussion paper, working groups prepared additional resources related to reducing health inequities in three underserved populations of interest: individuals transitioning into and out of the corrections system, immigrants, and refugees.

Corrections population

Immigrant population

Refugee population

A second look: Applying a sex, gender, & diversity lens to health inequities in British Columbia

The BC Centre of Excellence for Women's Health developed two related papers. Taking a second look provides an epidemiological analysis of health inequities with a sex, gender, and diversity lens. Using the same lens, Worth a second look identifies considerations for policy action to reduce health inequities. Released: November 2009

SOURCE: Health Equity Indicators ( )
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