This document outlines VicHealth’s approach to promoting health equity in Victoria for the years 2017 to 2019.
Download: VicHealth Health Equity Strategy 2017–19 (PDF, 318 KB)
Download: Health Equity Strategy launch transcript - 14 November 2017 (DOC, 55 KB)
VicHealth’s ambition is for one million more Victorians to have better health and wellbeing by 2023. At the heart of this endeavour is an equitable Victoria, where all people have the opportunity for a healthy life. The VicHealth Action Agenda for Health Promotion recognises the importance of health equity, and of making the greatest health promotion efforts where the greatest health gains are likely.
Achieving health equity means recognising that not everyone enjoys the same opportunities to lead a healthy life, and taking steps to correct this. In Victoria, inequities in health are associated with markers of social position such as education, occupation, income, race/ethnicity, gender, Aboriginality, disability and sexuality. These inequities are apparent across all five of VicHealth’s strategic imperatives: healthy eating, physical activity, mental wellbeing, tobacco use, and harm from alcohol. Where lower social position is associated with worse health, this is known as a social gradient in health.
Health inequities are avoidable. They not only undermine the health of individuals, but impose economic and social costs on the wider community. If health equity is not actively sought in health promotion action, existing inequities are likely to be reinforced. These considerations underscore the importance of promoting health equity for VicHealth.