Health equity and health equality do not mean the same thing. Equality means giving everyone the same thing, whereas equity means giving people what they need to reach their best health.
For example, in the picture below, three people of different heights are trying to reach the fruit on the tree. In this case, the fruit symbolizes good health. The different heights of the people represents the unequal distribution of the social determinants of health in society.
If we treat these people equally, we would give everyone the same box to stand on, so only the tallest person could reach the fruit. If we treat them equitably, we would give them as many boxes as they need to reach the fruit.© 2014, Saskatoon Health Region