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The Ontario women’s health equity report. Chapter 13.

The POWER Study  (Project for an Ontario Women’s Health Evidence-based Report), a multi-year investigation of women’s health status, has produced a 13-chapter Ontario Women’s Health Equity Report. The report examines gender differences on a comprehensive set of evidence-based, health-related indicators. 

Chapter 13 presents the key lessons from the study and recommends policy directions for improving health equity.  For example, the finding that inequities in health, and a person’s ability to perform normal daily activities, are much larger than inequities in access to and quality of care, argue for focusing on the social determinants of health.  Also, the gender differences found in health outcomes is strong evidence for gender-sensitive solutions. The authors propose redesigning Ontario’s health care system to prioritize 1) upstream interventions that address the social determinants of health; 2) chronic disease prevention and management; 3) patient-centred care; 4) service integration and care coordination; and 5) innovation, learning, and research.

The authors propose 27 indicators to monitor health equity, and to guide and evaluate interventions. They also discuss opportunities for improving organizations’ capacity for collecting health equity data. The chapter concludes with a 10-step road map for achieving health equity in Ontario.

Use this resource to:

  • Learn about the importance of collecting both measurement and monitoring data to inform and support the policy and practice changes needed to improve health equity
  • Review a Leading Set of Health Equity Indicators‒in the areas of prevention and population health, chronic disease management, access to care, reproductive health, and the social determinants of health‒that can be used to guide interventions, evaluate their effectiveness, and monitor progress
  • Study a 10-point plan designed to lead a province toward greater health equity (also included in Chapter 12)

Bierman, A.S., Shack, A.R., Johns, A. for the POWER Study. (2012) Achieving Health Equity in Ontario: Opportunities for Intervention and Improvement. In A. Bierman, (Ed). Project for an Ontario Women’s Health Evidence-Based Report: Volume 2: Toronto. Retrieved from:  In French:

Tags: Assess and report, Healthy public policy, Sex & gender, Document

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