The European Portal for Action on Health Equity is a tool for promoting health equity within the European Union (EU). This website contains a large amount of information on existing policies and programs that have been implemented to improve health equity by targeting the social determinants of health. The information contained in the website is the result of an EU initiative called Determine, which aims to cause action on the determinants of health, which are the root causes of health inequities. One of the main features of Determine is the creation of a consortium of health bodies, public health and health promotion institutes, governments and other related European organizations. Together these groups hope to increase awareness of the importance of the social determinants of health as well as to encourage decision makers in all sectors to take health equity issues into account during policy and program development and implementation.
One of the most valuable parts of the site is a search engine of various existing program interventions that target the determinants of health, in which you can specify what type of program you are looking for by selecting options from a list of drop down menus. You can focus your search according to various categories including: target group, age group, field of intervention, determinant of health, settings, and good practice criteria. The resulting descriptions of the interventions are extremely detailed, including an assessment of how innovative the program is. This is a great tool for exploring the type of equity-driven policies and programs that exist in various European countries. Although programs need to be culturally appropriate and context-specific, Canada could potentially adopt some of these European policies and interventions to improve health equity in our country.