Healthcare Leaders Discuss Equity and Trust

Published on: July 9, 2024


How can we create a more equitable healthcare system for the benefit of everyone? That question was top of the agenda when Sanofi co-hosted a webinar with The Health Policy Partnership to launch its new report, Earning Trust: A Foundation for Health Equity, on 2 July.

Initiated and funded by Sanofi, the report explores the importance of trust for equitable healthcare, and how health systems can take steps to earn it back. And while building trust should be a concern for us all, it’s especially important for people from under-represented communities as they are most at risk of facing specific barriers or discrimination. 

To highlight the current state of inequity in healthcare, the Health Policy Partnership shared the following key statistics:

In the US

People with disabilities are almost 10 times more likely than those without to live with multiple chronic conditions.

Experts Share Insights on Healthcare

Leaders from healthcare, policy, and academic sectors discussed challenges and solutions to earning trust in healthcare, answering questions and responding to comments from an online audience. 

Made Wikandana, Disability and Inclusion Rights Activist, shared his perspective of navigating the health system with a visibility impairment. Blind since a young age, he emphasized the need for clear and consistent communications from providers. This is essential to ensure people with a visual impairment like him are properly able to understand important information such as appointments, prescriptions, and test results.

What I have experienced daily as a person with a disability and as a blind person is that communication is key. If you want to have strong, robust and also inclusive healthcare for people with disabilities, you need to build great communication.
Made Wikandana

Made Wikandana

Disability and Inclusion Rights Advocate

Marisa Miraldo, Professor of Health Economics at Imperial College London, spoke about the importance of collecting representative data on traditionally under-represented groups’ experiences. Understanding diverse experiences and creating evidence-based solutions to improve health systems for all is dependent on collecting and reporting on accurate data. Collecting and amplifying data is a key tenet of A Million Conversations - Sanofi’s global initiative to help rebuild trust in healthcare with the underrepresented.

Phill Della AM, Professor of Curtin University School of Nursing, shared insights from the healthcare system in Australia, where Aboriginal communities have been less likely to seek treatment due lower trust in the system. He shared how increased representation in the industry showed positive results:

“One of the things that I think Australia has done extremely well is investing in Aboriginal health workers [...] because when our Aboriginal people can see people of their own race, they are more likely to engage with the healthcare system. We haven't got it all right by any means, but we need to keep building on that.”

To improve representation in healthcare leadership roles, Sanofi has launched the NextGen Scholarship, collaborating with academic partners in countries around the world.

Key Steps to Earn Trust

The report highlights the policy principles that need to be implemented to build trust between under-represented groups and healthcare. 

Moreover, actions to build trust in health is of benefit to everyone, no matter their background. Trusting relationships with healthcare providers results in open communication and improved adherence to medical advice, leading to better health outcomes.

How can we accept that we don't know what are the side effects of a specific treatment in different sections of the population? How can we accept that women don't have treatment because we don't understand about the biology enough, as we do for men? I mean, this is so fundamental. Health is a human right.
Marisa Miraldo

Marisa Miraldo

Professor of Health Economics and Academic Director at Imperial College Business School

The message is clear: right now, governments, healthcare providers, non-governmental organizations, and the healthcare industry must leverage their positions to advocate for and fund change. It’s time to work together to overcome increasing inequities, earn back trust, and ensure no one is left behind.

Missed the live webinar? Watch the recording here.


Explore More

Earning Trust: A Foundation for Health Equity Report

A Million Conversations

New Voices Join a Million Conversations


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