Health Disparities

We hear the words “inequity” and “inequality” used to mean the same thing but inequity and inequality are two different things.  An inequality in health can be caused by differences in something like your genetics.   An inequality does not always mean something is unfair. For example, a person with a disability and a person without a disability may be receiving different or “unequal” healthcare services because their healthcare needs are different.

However, an inequity is an uneven sharing of health goods and services for reasons that have nothing to do with health.

A person with a disability may experience an inequity if they are not accommodated with wheelchair ramps, are not able to access a handicapped parking spaces, or using elevators because their employer feels it is too expensive to make these changes in the office for one person or they do not like people with disabilities.

Health inequities can be so serious that they can even cause people to die for avoidable reasons.  This could be because they do not get the same educational opportunities as others, make less money compared than others doing the same job, or are not given the same treatment or level of care that someone else with the same health condition has.


Summit County Health Equity Information

Health Inequities Guides and Summary Sheets