Despite remarkable health gains, inequities persist between and within countries in the WHO European Region, and Sweden is no exception. Actions to effectively tackle health inequities need to be carried out at all levels of government. Regions have a key role to play because they are close to their populations and have the power and skills to develop efficient public health policies that may help to reduce health disparities by changing the distribution of the social determinants of health.
This report describes the process that the Region Västra Götaland, Sweden followed to mainstream health equity in its regional health plan; this resulted in the adoption of the Action Plan for Health Equity in Region Västra Götaland. This publication give an account of not only the factors that made the Action Plan possible but also the obstacles encountered and the measures taken to overcome them. The report illustrates how the whole-of-government and whole-of-society approaches central to the new European health policy, Health 2020, were implemented in a real setting.