We propose the concept of Inclusive Health to encapsulate the Health for All ethos; to build on the rights‐based approach to health; to promote the idea of inclusion as a verb, where a more proactive approach to addressing distinctive and different barriers to inclusion is needed; and to recognise that new initiatives in human resources for health can offer exciting and innovative ways of healthcare delivery. While Inclusive Education has become a widely recognised and accepted concept, Health for All is still contested, and new thinking is required to develop its agenda in line with contemporary developments. Inclusive Health refers both to who gets health care and to who provides it; and its ethos resonates strongly with Jefferson’s assertion that ‘there is nothing more unequal, than the equal treatment of unequal people’. We situate the timeliness of the Inclusive Health concept with reference to recent developments in the recognition of the rights of people with disability, in the new guidelines for community‐based rehabilitation and in the World Report on Disability. These developments offer a more inclusive approach to health and, more broadly, its inter‐connected aspects of wellbeing. A concept which more proactively integrates United Nations conventions that recognise the importance of difference – disability, ethnicity, gender, children – could be of benefit for global healthcare policy and practice.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1: Centre for Global Health & School of Psychology, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland 2: Disability and Rehabilitation Team, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland
Publication date: January 1, 2012