TRAVERSE: Addressing the drivers of health inequities

jueves, 08.11.2018 – jueves, 08.11.2018, Traverse

Öffentlicher Anlass

Disparities in income, education or cultural customs lead to major health inequalities among populations. Within the format of the TRAVERSE, we will take the advantage of welcoming Sir Michael Marmot – a renowned leading and inspiring figure in addressing social and economic determinants of health and health inequities – to discuss on how to unpack and address such drivers of inequities.

Inequality is widely recognised as a major obstacle to development. In low- and middle-income countries, inequalities are leaving millions of people without access to services and resources for their health. Gender, ethnicity, age and disability, combined with a lack of sustainable social and financial protection, are among the main reasons for exclusion and inequitable access to health.

«People living in the most deprived neighbourhoods will on average die seven years earlier than people living in the richest neighbourhoods. Even more disturbing, people living in poorer areas not only die sooner, but spend more of their lives with disability – an average total difference of 17 years.» – Sir Michael Marmot


Lugar: Schule für Gestaltung Bern, Schänzlihalde 31, Raum “Aula”

A round table with Sir Michael Marmot

On 8 November 2018, we will take the advantage of welcoming Sir Michael Marmot to discuss how to best tackle the drivers of inequities in accessing health services. Benefitting from a renowned panel consisting of experienced researchers and practitioners, we will also discuss on how to build on Swiss experiences in offering inclusive service provision for vulnerable populations.

Participants of the Round Table:

  • Sir Michael Marmot: Professor of Epidemiology at University College London, and Director of the UCL Institute of Health Equity
  • Pierre-Yves Maillard: State Councillor Canton of Vaud, and Head of the Department of Health and Social Action
  • Serge Houmard, Co-Head Section Health equity, Federal Office of Public Health
  • Patrick Bodenmann: Holder of the Chair of Medicine for Vulnerable Populations, University of Lausanne, and Head of Centre for Vulnerable Populations PMU (University Medical Polyclinic)

The conference will be open to the public and is free of charge. To register for the event, please send an email to by 7 November 2018.

Date and time

Thursday, 8 November 2018

10:00 – 12:00 followed by refreshments

Schule für Gestaltung Bern, Schänzlihalde 31, Raum “Aula”

Reducing inequality, not just poverty

The reduction of inequalities within and among countries is central to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda. According to the WHO, “Reducing health inequities is important because health is a fundamental human right and its progressive realisation will eliminate inequalities that result from differences in health status (…) in the opportunity to enjoy life and pursue one's life plans”.

Addressing inequities and inclusion is a very complex process which goes far beyond improving access to high-quality health services at population and individual level. Supporting and empowering vulnerable and marginalised groups to be involved in decision-making processes, to demand more accountability from service providers and health authorities, and to exercise their rights, are also central issues to be addressed. In addition, removing exclusion and discrimination with regard to health outcomes requires addressing structural barriers such as discriminatory policies, practices and laws.

Equity and inclusion as a central principle of SDC’s work

Equity and inclusion are key issues for the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), given its strong commitment to the Agenda 2030 principle of ‘leaving no one behind’ and to achieving Universal Health Coverage. Country cooperation strategies and corresponding health programmes target the poorest and most marginalised people and aim at ensuring their access to high-quality and affordable promotive, preventive and curative services and resources for their health and well-being, thus securing universal health coverage.

«Why treat people and send them back to the conditions that made them sick? We need to treat people, but we need to address the issues that make people sick.» – Sir Michael Marmot