Introducing healthcare improvement
Introducing healthcare improvement

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Introducing healthcare improvement

2.6 Equitable care

Equitable care means delivering care that does not differ in quality according to characteristics of the patient or patient group such as their age, gender, geographical location, cultural background, ethnicity, religion and socioeconomic status.

Activity 8

Watch the first 3:39 minutes of this YouTube video [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] about how effective communication contributes to healthcare equality in the United States. The video focuses on best practice in providing healthcare for a diverse population.

  1. What are the two kinds of ‘competency’ referred to in the video and what do you think they mean?
  2. What do you think is meant by ‘health literacy’?
  3. What kinds of things come under the heading of ‘culture’, according to the video?
  4. How relevant are these ideas to other countries outside the USA, including your own national context?


  1. The two kinds of competency mentioned in the video commentary are linguistic and cultural competency. Linguistic competence refers to knowledge and understanding of language. Cultural competence refers to awareness of the culture and cultural norms of others.
  2. The term ‘health literacy’ seems to mean an individual’s understanding of health-related issues, and it is seen as being influenced by (among other things) education, income, country of origin and level of assimilation to the host culture.
  3. The video commentary defines ‘culture’ quite broadly, including factors such as sexual orientation, gender identity, race and ethnicity, language and socio-economic status. But also physical and mental capacity, age, religion, housing status and regional differences fall under this heading.
  4. The claim that the United States is becoming ever more linguistically and culturally diverse is also relevant to other countries, including those of Western Europe. This means that many of the issues raised in the video have a global relevance, even if the specific nature of each national context is different in some way to the American context.

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