Equity and the consideration of the differential impacts of public policy within populations are core values of health impact assessment. A recent paper setting out the results of the government's consultation exercise on tackling health inequalities argues for health impact assessment to be used as a mechanism to bring about reductions in health inequalities. However, we would contend that most, if not all, published health impact assessments have not considered the effects of public policies on health inequalities in a robust or reliable manner. In this paper we set out and explore some of the issues that require consideration if health impact assessment is fulfil the government's expectations.
- health impact assessment
- health inequalities