Health In All Policy Areas

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Health In All Policy Areas
Health In All Policy Areas

Video: Health In All Policy Areas

Video: Health In All Policy Areas
Video: Health in All Policies Resource Center Introductory Video 2023, March

Health in all policy areas

Many important factors influencing health can be found outside the health system, for example in the field of labor market, education, social, environmental, transport or economic policy. They affect our health and well-being day after day, which is reflected, for example, in life expectancy, in the development of chronic diseases or in the number of healthy years of life. This can lead to health inequalities among different population groups.


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  • Health inequalities
  • Overall health-promoting policy
  • Check health effects

Health inequalities

Health and social factors influence each other. Research shows that lower levels of education, low income and low professional status are often related to poor health. Data on the state of health of the population show, for example, that men and women with a university degree can expect a higher life expectancy than people with a compulsory school degree (source: Statistics Austria).

The “Ottawa Charter” of the World Health Organization (WHO) therefore calls for coordinated, joint action in various policy areas, which should lead to greater social equality of opportunity. This in turn is an important prerequisite for health.

Overall health-promoting policy

Overall health-promoting policy means above all that health aspects are taken into account at all levels and areas of politics and society. Political decisions should be examined in terms of their consequences for people's health. The realization that the health of the population can only be effectively and sustainably promoted through bundled efforts in all policy fields is the basis for the strategy “Health in All Policies”. The strategy helps to shift the focus from individual lifestyles and diseases more to societal and social factors. This is particularly necessary with regard to health and socially disadvantaged groups.

“Health in all policy areas” does not come about by itself, but needs concrete activities to be implemented. The WHO has long called for overall health-promoting policies to be implemented as a broad government approach and in various areas of society.

Examples from Austria are:

  • Child and youth health strategy,
  • Health goals Austria of the Ministry of Health,
  • Health goals of the states of Upper Austria and Styria and the Carinthian Mobility and Health Action Plan”

Check health effects

The internationally recognized method of health impact assessment (GFA, internationally established as Health Impact Assessment or HIA) offers one possibility to check measures with regard to their health effects. The aim of an HIA is to identify possible positive and negative health effects before a political decision is made. In addition, it is examined how these effects are distributed within population groups or regions.

Further information:

Health in all policy areas (Gesundheit Österreich GmbH)

The literature used can be found in the bibliography.

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