Health equity lens embedded in the public health policies of Saudi Arabia: A qualitative document analysis

Leena Eklund Karlsson*, Anne Leena Ikonen, Kothar Mohammed Alqahtani, Pernille Tanggaard Andersen, Subash Thapa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), no studies have been documented to analyze the equity aspects of public health policies. The aims of the study were to identify policy documents in the KSA relevant to public health and to explore whether these include an equity approach. Twenty health-related documents were identified from various ministries’ websites and analyzed through directed content analysis. The results showed that the term “equity” was neither defined nor explained in the documents and suggestions on how to tackle health inequities were lacking. None of the suggested measures communicated an explicit focus on promoting health equity or the social gradient. Several upstream, midstream, and downstream measures were suggested to improve justice and public health for the people. The study reveals that there is a need for an in-depth assessment of the policy measures across sectors and their influence on health equity to inform future health policy development and action in the KSA.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSage Open
Volume10
Issue number4
ISSN2158-2440
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7. Oct 2020

Keywords

  • Health equity
  • policy analysis
  • Saudi Arabia
  • qualitative research

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