The term “health literacy” is used widely in global health promotion contexts. It is firmly embedded into Australian health research, policy and practice lexicon, although occasionally remains a contested space. While there are multiple definitions that encompass individual, population and environmental health literacy, the underlying tenet is that health literacy is critical for sustaining optimal health and well-being. Indeed, health literacy is increasingly being viewed as a social determinant of health in its own right; and one which also powerfully influences other social determinants of health. Not surprisingly, health literacy scholarship is now synonymous with discussions about health equity. That is, vulnerable, disadvantaged, disempowered and marginalised populations throughout the world are reported to have poorer health literacy; and are often faced with health systems and service environments that are hard to access or difficult to navigate. We argue that this needs to change. And fast...
- health equity
- health literacy
- health promotion
- health policy
- National Preventive Health Strategy