We need to discuss equity in health care


A group of researchers at the universities of Uppsala, Gävle  and Mälardalen shows that we are still a long way from what Swedish Healthcare Act prescribes: Equity in health for the whole population.

Anna T. HöglundWe still need to discuss and educate health care personnel on equity in different health care settings. That is the result of an intervention study on the impact of education for telephone nurses on equity in health care that was just published in the International Journal for Equity in Health.

Anna T. Höglund is Associate Professor of Ethics and one of the authors. She has been part of several studies on Swedish telephone nursing. Previous research has shown that Swedish health care is not always provided equally, Anna Höglund’s own included.

The intervention consisted of an education on equity in healthcare. The effect was measured with a study specific questionnaire. Few significant changes were found, but the education was much appreciated by the participants.

“We are now working on a qualitative analysis of the intervention, built on interviews with the participants. The conclusion this far is that even though awareness of the law’s requirements exists, more practice is needed in order to fulfil the requirement for equity in healthcare”, says Anna T. Höglund.

This intervention and questionnaire were designed to fit telephone nurses. According to the authors, it could easily be adjusted for other professional groups who need to increase their awareness of equity in healthcare.

Read article: Höglund AT, Carlsson M, Holmström IK, Kaminsky E,Impact of telephone nursing education program for equity in healthcare, International Journal for Equity in Health, 2016;15(152). DOI: 10.1186/s12939-016-0447-0.

By Josepine Fernow

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