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What is Healthy Public Policy?

“Healthy public policy is characterized by an explicit concern for health and equity in all areas of policy and by an accountability for health impact. The main aim of health public policy is to create a supportive environment to enable people to lead healthy lives. Such a policy makes health choices possible or easier for citizens. It makes social and physical environments health‐enhancing.”

World Health Organization, 1988

The development of healthy public policy is a key component of a Healthy Communities approach, and one of the five key strategies promoted in the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion. The Ottawa Charter highlighted the fact that health promotion action goes beyond the health care sector, emphasising that health should be on the policy agenda in all sectors, and at all levels of government. The strategy of investment for health is closely related to this concept of healthy public policy.

 

Resources for Healthy Public Policy

The National Collaborating Centre for Healthy Public Policy is an excellent resource for information and resources on healthy public policy.

Health in all policies toolkit (Canadian Nurses Association) 

Health Impact Assessment  is a method of estimating the potential effects of a policy, plan, program or project on the health of a population.

Health Equity Impact Assessment Worksbook is a guide to evaluating the impacts of a program or policy on vulnerable groups, and unequal access to health services, public health programs and quality of care (Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, 2012)

Constructing a Logic Model for a Healthy Public Policy: Why and How?  This can be a helpful tool for reflecting on the effectiveness of healthy public policies. (NCCHPP, 2013)

A Framework for Analyzing Public Policies – Practical Guide    (NCCHPP, 2012)

Let's Start a Conversation About Health . . . and Not Talk About Health Care at All This five-minute video, produced by the Sudbury and District Health Unit, engages viewers in a discussion about health inequity and the ways non-health sectors influence our health.