New report outlines how we can build more equitable and trustworthy health systems

1 July 2024

The Health Policy Partnership has worked with an international expert advisory group on a report to help leaders understand how to create health systems that are more equitable, more trustworthy, and better suited to serve the needs of people from under-represented groups.

The report, Earning trust: a foundation for health equity, outlines the four main policy principles – understanding, inclusion, transparent communication, and data generation – that leaders should focus on to build trust with under-represented groups in their communities.

Trust is the most valuable commodity in a health system. A person entering a health system inevitably places their health in the hands of relative strangers, believing they will be cared for. However, trust is fragile; when broken, it is hard to repair. Due to a history of being underserved or discriminated against, under-represented groups may avoid health systems, forgo care or seek alternative sources of information. And all of those can contribute to worse health outcomes.

The report looks at examples from different countries, and highlights case studies in which health systems have worked to become more trustworthy. It proposes national policies to embed trust and equity as central tenets of health systems, and educate health professionals on providing care that is appropriate and supportive of all. By incorporating the principles of the report into everyday work, health system leaders can catalyse change and contribute to a more equitable tomorrow, today.

The report forms part of A Million Conversations, an international initiative by Sanofi to rebuild under-represented groups’ trust in health systems.

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