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.
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.