NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence in the Social Determinants of Health Equity

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Opinion piece by Ashley Schram in The Conversation

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RegNet shines at 2017 World Congress on Public Health

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How class and wealth affect our health

Inequities in wealth and income are one of the biggest social, economic and political challenges of our time. It’s important to address these inequities for three key reasons.

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Health equity and the budget

Public hospitals and Medicare funding make up approximately 40 billion dollars of the annual federal health budget. They also tend to dominate discussions around health policy.

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Austmoney_

Policy Forum 12 May: A fair go for all

There is increasing concern among policy makers, civil society groups and the public about the widening differences in the social and health status of Australia’s most and least advantaged peoples.

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 Streetscape

Many Australians will live shorter lives than others not because of their genetics or the lifestyle choices they make but rather because of the conditions in which they live and the opportunities they have to lead a healthy life. There is increasing concern among politicians, policy makers and the Australian public about the growing financial, social and health inequities in a country that prides itself on having a ‘fair go’.

The power of the social determinants to improve population health and its social distribution has been demonstrated through a series of international (including the World Health Organisation through its Commission on the Social Determinants of Health) and national level commissions and evidence reviews. However the translation of this evidence into equity-focused multi-sectoral policy development and implementation has been slow.

The goal of the CRE is to provide evidence on how to navigate the political and policy processes more effectively in order to operationalise the social determinants of health and health inequity. We will do this in four thematic areas: macroeconomics and infrastructure, land use and urban environments, health systems and Aboriginal people. These themes will be operationalised through four work programs which reflect the policy cycle of agenda setting, formulation, implementation and evaluation. In each work program we will use case studies to examine policy and regulatory processes and health equity in detail. The CRE will also develop formal processes of capacity building and knowledge exchange relating to effective policies and practices to achieve better and more equitable health outcomes. The outcome of the work of the CRE will be much improved understanding of the regulatory and governance mechanisms associated with how policies can be changed to achieve health equity and thus contribute to more equitable health outcomes.

The CRE commenced on the 1st March 2015 and will run until 28th February 2020. It is a collaboration between researchers at Flinders University, Australian National University, University of Ottawa, University of Sydney, University College London, the University of Oxford, Simon Fraser University and the University of New South Wales. The work of the Centre is guided by a Critical Policy Reference Group, chaired by Dr Pat Anderson (also chair of the Lowitja Institute).

People

Our team has an outstanding record of national and international collaboration in original research, capacity building and knowledge translation.

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Contact us

Contact information for the CRE

Updated:  10 August 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director, RegNet/Page Contact:  Director, RegNet