The platform to reach good health is not equitable in the EU. Our health is influenced by many (social) determinants such as housing, education, and employment. Inequities and discrimination related to these factors add up and make health harder to reach throughout life – which we have visualised in this infographic
Health inequities do not occur in isolation. For example, gender, skin colour, and experience of migration can cause intersecting discrimination, leading to inequities across multiple societal factors and poorer health outcomes. Yet, with limited EU-level data on intersectional inequities, including for instance on race and ethnic origin, we can only scratch the surface of the issue we see today.
Health inequities are not spontaneous. Inequitable access to health determinants and consequent differences in health outcomes are rooted at multiple levels; from individual-level inequities to institutionalised discriminatory policies. This creates a divide in opportunities to live life in good health; a divide that can be overcome with enough political will.
The EU has the power to act. Our solutions presented in the infographic are informed by WHO guidance on addressing health inequity, and literature identifying opportunities for the EU to influence European health-related policies. These are the overarching steps to fix the health gap and construct a fair and healthy Europe for all.