Equity-oriented national strategy for public health in Sweden
Policy Learning Curve Series Number 1
This publication provides an overview of how Sweden has tackled the problem of social inequalities in health, which are an issue not only for policy-makers but also for the research community. Indeed, the idea that, since health in the higher socioeconomic groups has been improving, the lower groups would follow, has been rejected as a result of research findings showing the importance of structural factors such as working and housing conditions.
Research on the social etiology of health and the social mechanisms behind health inequities is an important requirement for policy-makers to address the health divide more effectively. However, this kind of knowledge does not translate easily into the political realities of health planning and programme implementation.
With equality in health already a national vision for health policy, Swedish welfare policies subsequently aimed at reconciliating efficiency of measures with equity of outcomes. The document describes how the circumstances described above led to the decision to create a comprehensive equity-oriented national public health strategy.
Author(s) and Email
Piroska Östlin and Finn Diderichsen
Owner contact details
Department of Public Health Sciences