Publications WHO (Europe) - Policy coherence as a driver of health equity

Health is a human right and therefore states must ensure access to timely and affordable health care of appropriate quality, and provide for the underlying determinants of health, such as safe and potable water, sanitation, food, housing, health-related information and education, decent work and gender equality. This highlights the need for coherent action across different policy domains.

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals provide the framework to advance policy coherence for health equity. As policy coherence concerns different levels of governance, the mechanisms for the public health community to drive for policy coherence are both systemic and administrative. The former concerns transparency (access to health and other relevant data and capacity to use the data) and accountability (reporting to the legislature, initiatives by ministries of health and the strength of civil society). The latter mechanism includes ministerial linkages between health and others (interdepartmental committees and public engagement), public health legislation, governmental plans and targets, joint budgeting and delegated finance.