Jan Thyrhaug is project leader for the Norwegian part of the project ”Sectorscreening”.
Sectorscreening PDF Print E-mail
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Sunday, 04 September 2011 16:40

In 2007, a Norwegian white paper emphasised that the prime objective of national health policy is to achieve more equitable social distribution of health – and health determinants.

But how can we equalize social health differences in practice?

This is the question a number of municipalities and regions are asking themselves following the expectation from national authorities in several countries, not just Norway, that the subject will be given priority both locally and regionally.

On this basis, the “sector screening” project was established to help municipalities and counties in Norway meet government requirements to reduce social inequalities in health.

The project will produce a publication that shows examples of instruments for municipalities and counties in Norway. The purpose is 1) to increase knowledge about how social inequalities in health arise, 2) highlight the opportunities for cross-sectoral strategies within counties and municipalities, and 3) inspire and motivate a comprehensive effort to reduce social inequalities in health within counties and municipalities.

The work of HEPROGRESS is based on the understanding that the principle “Health in all” is important to reduce social inequalities in health. All relevant sectors that control the social determinants of health must take responsibility to reduce inequalities.

The sector screening project has prepared a publication designed for Norwegian municipalities and counties that shows what central sectors in municipalities and counties can do in practice. This is not an exhaustive list, but it refers to examples based on both evidence-based and experience-based knowledge.

The most important target group for the publication is the chief administrative officers, but also other administrative and political leaders will find the document useful. It is particularly relevant for target groups who currently have little knowledge of the field, which is important as many leaders have not grasped that they have an important responsibility for public health.

The publication therefore consist of two parts:

  1. A short review of important parts of theory on social inequalities in health.
  2. A review of the following sectors in municipalities and counties, with examples of practical measures they can initiate:

Municipal sectors analysed:

  • General management
  • Municipal plan – planning and comprehensive thinking – Public health Staff
  • Day care centres, school, day care facilities for schoolchildren
  • Health and social
  • Technical sector
  • Culture
  • Voluntary sector


County sectors analysed:

  • General management
  • County plan – planning, statistics and analysis – Public health
  • Staff
  • Culture
  • Dental health
  • Training


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