A public health approach is important in achieving healthequity because it brings communities, businesses, and governments together toempower all people, not just the privileged, to live healthier lives. Poorcommunities often do not have access to quality products and services relatedto good health, including higher education, quality housing, clean air, freshproduce, and public safety. This type of inequity causes health disparities,especially in minority populations. Public health initiatives address suchissues by promoting equal distribution and access to health-promotingresources.
Taking apublic health approach is effective in closing disparities caused by racism andclassism. Poverty and health go hand in hand – the best predictor for someone’shealth is that person’s social class. Without public health efforts, much ofthe health-related information and services would only be accessible to thosewho can afford it. Public health initiatives make health information andservices available to more people, not just to those who can afford it. Suchinitiatives will close health disparities, bringing us closer to health equity.Research has shown that spendingtime in prison is related to poor health and a shorter life expectancy. In asociety where the justice system targets racial minorities and gives themharsher sentences, a pubic health approach is paramount.
Public healthorganizations can promote policies that remove minor, nonviolent crimes from anindividual’s record, reduce sentences for minor offences, and give support topeople who leave prisons so that those people will have better employmentopportunities, which in turn leads to good health.