Equity in healthcare: status, barriers, and challenges

Document Type



Family Medicine


Global health provides a challenge for primary care and general practice which will become increasingly important in the future as the prevalence of multimorbidity increases. There is increasing likelihood of survival from acute illnesses and increase an in the elderly population. This literature review focuses on the health inequities, the role of family medicine and the factors that are essential in overcoming these inequalities.

Health disparities refer to gaps in the quality of health and delivery of health care across racial, ethnic, gender and socioeconomic groups. The health disparities vary among different countries and the factors that lead to these disparities differ across the world. Family medicine plays a crucial role in bridging this gap and is an essential backbone of the society in developing nations as well as the wealthier nations in providing equity in health care to all people. There are many factors leading to inequity in health care. Family medicine should be recognized as a specialty across the world, as family medicine with its person centered care can bring about a global change in health care. This issue has to be taken up more seriously by the institutions like the WHO, UN and also individual governments along with the political parties to create uniformity in health care. In the current setting of the global economic and financial crisis, a truly global solution is needed. The WHO has come up with various strategies to solve the issue of financial crises and ensuring equity in health globally. This will ensure equal health care to all people especially the underprivileged in developing countries who do not have access to better healthcare due to lack of resources. This factor is a major contributor to the premature death of individuals at all stages of life from new born to the elderly and includes infant mortality and mortality due to chronic diseases. This is important in creating uniformity in health care across the world but has to be considered at a global level to have an impact.


Middle East Journal of Family Medicine