Health Inequalities

Poverty and social exclusion are strongly related. Poverty impacts hugely on the groups falling within our remit.

What is Poverty?

The National Anti-Poverty Strategy defines poverty as:

“People are living in poverty if their income and resources (material, cultural and social) are so inadequate as to prevent them from having a standard of living, which is regarded as acceptable by Irish society. Because of inadequate income and resources people may be excluded and marginalised from participating in activities, which are considered the norm for other people in society”.

Poverty caused by austerity measures, along with lack of entitlements to services by large numbers of people from vulnerable groups, has led to severe pressures on health services.

There are a wide range of factors that impact on health and wellbeing. These include:

  • lifestyle;
  • material wealth;
  • level of education;
  • job security;
  • housing conditions;
  • discrimination; and
  • access to health services.

Many of these things can be added together over time and can be passed on from one generation to the next. This leads to health inequalities among certain vulnerable groups.

Healthy Ireland

HI Logo

Healthy Ireland: A Framework for Improved Health and Wellbeing 2013 – 2025

This framework presents principles and proposed actions that align with our work. These include supporting people from marginalised groups by:

  • making sure they have access to care;
  • reducing health inequalities; and

developing cross-sectoral, coordinated solutions to health-related issues.