New issue: Everyone matters
According to the World Health Organization, inequalities in health can exist for various reasons, some of which are biological (e.g. a higher incidence of cataract in people over 60 years of age).
If these inequalities are avoidable, however – e.g. if services were made more affordable – then they are better described as inequities, a word which captures the unfairness of the situation.
Equal provision of eye health does not create equity: it is important to ensure that eye care provision is proportional to need. For example, women are often much more likely than men to have age-related cataract. An equal number of operations for women and men would therefore be inequitable, as women’s needs are greater.