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|Health Equity Impact Assessment tool
The Health Equity Impact Assessment (HEIA) tool is a decision support tool which walks users through the steps of identifying how a program, policy or similar initiative will impact population groups in different ways. The end goal is to maximize positive impacts and reduce negative impacts that could potentially widen health inequities. It was designed to:
- Help identify unintended potential health equity impacts of decision-making (positive and negative)
- Support equity-based improvements in strategy, policy, planning, program or service design
- Embed equity across an organization’s existing and prospective decision-making models
- Raise awareness about health equity throughout the organization.
Public Health Ontario developed a supplement guide to assist public health units apply the HEIA to meet the requirements of the Ontario Public Health Standards (OPHS).
The tool was originally developed by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) in March 2011 and after three years of development and piloting, it has been revised in collaboration with Public Health Ontario as an evidence-based resource that facilitates improved planning and evaluation of programs and services by the Ministry, local health integration networks, public health units and other health service providers to improve health equity among populations.
Reducing health inequities is a central focus that cuts across all work at Public Health Ontario. It is critically important to identify, understand and mitigate the disparities in health status, health behaviours and access to health services which exist across population groups while protecting and promoting the health of all Ontarians. The HEIA tool supports public health units and others with an interest in reducing health inequities to bridge the gap from planning to action.
For more information on the tool, visit the MOHLTC website.