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Health Economics


Health inequities have significant social and economic costs to individuals and societies. In Wales, the Socio-economic Duty highlights the Welsh Government’s commitment to safeguarding equality and human rights, and places tackling inequality at the heart of decision-making.

Reducing health inequalities is an important policy objective, from a social justice perspective. An economic argument can potentially add weight to the objective of reducing health inequalities.

Health economics is about using resources efficiently to improve the population’s health. It focuses on equity, efficiency, effectiveness, values and behaviours for the allocation of healthcare resources to meet the health needs of the population it serves.

Economic evaluation compares the costs and consequences of alternative courses of action and provides evidence to inform decisions on how to allocate limited healthcare provision. Decisions on the allocation of resources need to be made in such a way that achieves effective and equitable outcomes and value for money.

There is growing economic evidence underpinning public health interventions. Evidence suggests that local and national public health interventions are highly cost-saving, and that cuts to public health budgets in high income countries are likely to generate billions of pounds of additional costs to health services and the wider economy.

The Five Essential Conditions

This section contains examples of resources on the nature and impacts of health inequalities, linking to the Five Essential Conditions for health. These resources include:

  • An interactive dashboard
  • Reports
  • Guides
  • Research articles

Stay up to date. The Welsh Health Equity Solutions Platform is continuously updated with the latest resources and materials, including data, policies, reports and case studies. Contact us to be notified of updates to the Solutions Platform.

Get in touch to get involved. We are working with stakeholders and users to update and expand the Solutions Platform with projects, case studies and spotlight features focused on health equity. Contact us to share your projects and success stories, to feature on the platform.