Quality and equity: a shared agenda for universal health coverage

"An intentional focus on addressing quality of care through an equity lens could trigger a transformational change in the way health services are delivered, leading to better universal health coverage and a reduction in health inequities. Equitable health services provide care that does not vary in quality on account of age, sex, gender, race as a social construct, ethnicity or indigeneity, geographical location, religion, socioeconomic status, migrant status, disability, language, sexual orientation, political affiliation or other factors. Delivery of equitable quality care necessitates an understanding of the complex interplay of factors influencing a person’s health and their experience of healthcare services. Primary healthcare-oriented health systems are organised and operated to guarantee the right to the highest attainable level of health as the main goal, while maximising equity and solidarity. Equity-oriented health information systems and barrier assessments can identify factors that influence suboptimal quality of care, which is disproportionately experienced by disadvantaged subpopulations, and inform the development of health policies and services that address inequities. A national strategic direction on quality of care as part of reorientation of health systems towards a primary care approach provides a key entry point for provision of equitable services."


Stevens, A., M. Neilson, K. Rasanathan, S. B. Syed, T. Swift Koller (2023). Quality and equity: a shared agenda for universal health coverageBMJ Global Health 2023;8:e012561.