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Document Abstract
Published: 2007

Challenging inequity through health systems: final report of the Knowledge Network on Health Systems

Strengthening health systems to address inequality
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The final report of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Health Systems Knowledge Network looks at how inequity can be addressed through health systems. Key recommendations, primarily aimed at Ministers of Health, government officials and civil society organizations, include the importance of: mobilising intersectoral relationships; facilitating social empowerment; building up universal health coverage, and; strengthening processes of developing and implementing policies. The report also stresses that international actors must support national led health system transformation and action.

The WHO Commission on the Social Determinants of Health concludes that both technical analysis and political commitment are needed to strengthen health systems and address health inequity. Technical analysis can help identify which features of health systems to nurture and protect. Political action and commitment is needed to confront the powerful actors, institutional constraints and socio-cultural norms that act as brakes on health system development for health equity [adapted from author].
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L. Gilson; J. Doherty; R. Loewenson

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