The relevance of equity in health care for primary care: creating and sustaining a 'fair go, for a fair innings'

Qual Prim Care. 2009;17(1):49-54.


This paper provides an 'equity lens' through which practitioners, policy makers and researchers can measure and monitor the equity of healthcare services provided. An argument is put forward which shows that services need to be assessed in terms of inequities, as opposed to the more often used terms of inequalities or disparities. This is not just a semantic argument, rather it is based on the foundations that service provision should be socially just. The paper then outlines some of the key domains involved in measuring the equity of health care--access, need and utilisation. The paper concludes with some of the reasons for the current equity problems in healthcare services and suggestions for ways forward in terms of developing more equitable healthcare services.

MeSH terms

  • Australia
  • Health Services Accessibility*
  • Health Services Needs and Demand*
  • Humans
  • Primary Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Social Justice*
  • Socioeconomic Factors