Public health concerns the health status of the population, as a whole or in different sub groups. A good public health entails that as many people as possible experience good health, both physical and mental, and that the health is equally distributed amongst different sub groups in society. The formal responsibility for the public health work in Region Västra Götaland is divided between the Public Health Committee and the five Health and Medical Care Committees.
Together towards social sustainability - Actions for health equity in Västra Götaland
When making an international comparison, Sweden as well as Västra Götaland has a good public health, high life expectancy and a reduced mortality in a number of lifestyle diseases. On the other hand the socially affected differences in public health are still visible and health among vulnerable groups has not improved as it has for the population in whole. The major causes of poor health are unemployment and low levels of education. In one year health inequities in Västra Götaland causes about 1,500 premature deaths and a production loss of 2.2 billion SEK.
As a response to this the Regional Council commissioned the Regional Executive Board to prepare a plan for health equity in Västra Götaland - "Together towards Social Sustainability - Actions for health equity in Västra Götaland". The Public Health Committee was assigned the responsibility of coordinating the commission and together with the Committee of Human Rights, the Regional Development Committee, the Cultural Affairs Committee and the Health and Medical Care Committees a draft plan was developed.
The Public Health Committee adopted the draft plan on December 6th 2012. It was subsequently presented to the Regional Executive Board in January 22nd 2013 who decided to send the draft plan to the municipalities in Västra Götaland for consultation. The responses were reported back to the Regional Executive Board in March and in April the draft plan was referred back for political reconstitution. On its meeting in May the Public Health Committee decided on some changes in line with the political panel’s ideas. It was then presented to the Regional Executive Board who approved and reported it to the Regional Council for decision. The Regional Council adopted the document "Together towards Social Sustainability - Actions for health equity in Västra Götaland" in September 24th.
The document "Together towards Social Sustainability - Actions for health equity in Västra Götaland" with a more detailed description of the background, organisation and process is available below.
Together towards Social Sustainability - Actions for health equity in Västra Götaland