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Equity standards for healthcare organisations: a theoretical framework

In this article, we outline the conceptual assumptions that define the basic theoretical framework for the development of equity standards for healthcare organisations. We begin by critiquing current assumptions by healthcare organisations regarding gender,migration and disability. By challenging these assumptions through the interrelated concepts ofintersectionality, origin and impairment, we introduce a way of modelling equity standards for healthcare organisations. Intersectionality is based on the assumption of multiple characteristics of discrimination; the origin of opposition to the cultural determination of differences and impairment of the reintegration of the body and suffering into the disability movement. The model of equity standards presented here has five domains that are intended to promote equity in policy, access, care and participation. The model has been specified concretely through a set of substandards and measurable elements that have already been submitted to a large international audience of organisations in the healthcare sector. The use of these substandards allows for a broad review and consequently improvement of the specified preliminary standards. Because, in a pluralised society, the needs of people have changed, especially in terms of lifeworlds characterised by diverse biographies, experiences and representations of realities, these standards might be a first step towards providingan adequate framework for healthcare organisations faced with radical differences.

Author(s): Sandro Cattacin, Antonio Chiarenza, Dagmar Domenig

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