Health Equity vs Health Equality

Healthcare Equality vs Healthcare Equity

April 24, 2023


The ongoing debate over equality and equal rights has pervaded every sphere of life. Healthcare being an important part of life, has welcomed debate over healthcare equality. But the term equality stood inadequate in addressing the different needs of different people. 

The term "Equity" appeared to fill the inadequacy of the term “Equality”. But what does this similar-looking term “equity” means? In general, equality means equal access and equal treatment to everyone whereas equity refers to the distribution/access based on need considering gender, race, and other socio-economic factors. 

Though Healthcare equality and Healthcare equity concepts may appear new to you, they are true to their root meanings. Let’s understand why it is important to understand the difference between the two for an improved healthcare ecosystem.


S.NoHealthcare EqualityHealthcare Equity

Equal healthcare treatment, facility, opportunity, 

and Funding.

Fair healthcare treatment, facility, opportunity, 

and funding.

2.Considers everyone equal.

Considers everyone different with different needs 

and requirements.

3.Ignores any details on the individual's backgroundFocuses on socio-economical & cultural differences.

For instance, people from low-income backgrounds 

may be malnutrition, and may not have access

 to hygiene and proper sanitation which could 

raise their risk of acquiring chronic health disorders.

 If everyone is treated equally, not everyone will 

have the same quality of health. 


For instance, ensuring healthcare equity may entail 

offering low-income people free or inexpensive 

care or expanding the number of healthcare facilities

 in underserved areas. It could also entail addressing 

hidden biases that might have an impact on 

the standard of care or delivering culturally competent

 care to patients from various backgrounds. 



The National Task Force Survey showed the poor 

health of the LGBTQ community because 50% of 

doctors do not know about transgender health, 

28% of the LGBTQ community faced harassment and 

5% faced care denial

study conducted in 2019 stated that when 

researchers adjusted and leveled social and 

environmental differences, there was no significant 

difference in death rates between white and

 Black men with prostate cancer.



Evolving Healthcare System is moving toward Equity


With digital healthcare solutions taking the forefront, the modern healthcare ecosystem is moving towards healthcare equity. The incorporation of technology in healthcare is leading to a need-based healthcare ecosystem that prioritizes justice. The telehealth, or telemedicine service proactively extends service to marginalized communities and people from underprivileged areas and regions. 

Interoperability is playing an important role in healthcare equity. It helps in massive data collection from various healthcare systems resulting in better documentation, tracking, and understanding of useful data. It also helps researchers understand the requirements of people affected by particular socio-economic determinants. Moreover, healthcare interoperability also helps better coordination and awareness of national programs, private health insurance systems, local/ regional hospitals, and much more. 

Healthcare IT solutions have revolutionized healthcare. For instance, a person living in a place deprived of quality healthcare facilities can still access quality healthcare consultancy and medicines with the help of Telehealth and Telemedicine. 





Healthcare equity and healthcare equality are two distinct concepts that are often used interchangeably. While healthcare equality focuses on treating everyone the same, healthcare equity focuses on providing everyone with the healthcare services they need to achieve the same health outcomes. Healthcare equity is essential for achieving health equity, which is the ultimate goal of the healthcare system. By promoting healthcare equity, we can ensure that everyone has the opportunity to access quality healthcare services and live a healthy and fulfilling life.

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Health Equity vs Health Equality
April 24, 2023

Healthcare Equality vs Healthcare Equity

IntroductionThe ongoing debate over equality and equal rights has pervaded every...