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Equity Pledge for Healthcare

by Dr. Rick Botelho Family Physician category: Cause

“Share Our Stories About What's Unfair About Healthcare: Make an Equity Pledge

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Dr. Rick Botelho Family Physician
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This campaign ended on December 31, 2016 at 12PM

Equity Pledge for Healthcare

Explain What Unfairness Means

People struggle to answer these questions. How do you:

  • Define "unfairness" in healthcare?
  • Understand the nature of your mindset? 
  • Explain how your mindset shapes your definition of unfairness? 
Sharing our stories about unfair healthcare will help us clarify what we mean. Our stories provide insights in how our different mindsets (philosophical, political and religious) shape our definitions of unfair healthcare.

We need to make politicians listen to the voices of the people and put the needs of the people ahead of political ideologies. Only we, the people, can make healthcare more fair and equitable to all if we take this pledge.

People's Pledge

We, the people, will tell our stories about what's most unfair about healthcare as the way to make our government accountable to the needs of the people.

This simple pledge is a lifelong learning process of advocating for equitable healthcare. We, the people, must build story movements to change public policies. 

What is Our Greatest Innovation Challenge?

Our greatest innovation challenge is learning how to open and expand our mindsets about how we can make healthcare equitable to all people.

To begin this process, the healthcare professions and the mass media must collaborate in educating people about the following question.

What is Unfairness in Healthcare? 

Unequal access to healthcare guarantees inequitable outcomes. In other words, low-income families gets the worst health outcomes, and wealthy families get the best outcomes.   The people who need the least get the most, and the people who need the most get the least. This is the Inverse Care Law for Injustice.

Martin Luther King Jr.: Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.

In the USA, individual values (liberty and freedom) dominate over community values (equality and equity) and hence, there is large inequalities in healthcare access and inequities in outcomes.

The quote above is not relevant in countries where National Healthcare Systems provide equal access to healthcare. But equality does not equal equity.  The issue of reducing inequities remains a global challenge for all countries.

Of all the forms of injustices, educational, gender and health inequities are the most damaging to our health, our well-being and our evolving human consciousness.

What's Most Unfair about Healthcare? 

We cannot agree on what's most unfair in healthcare if: 

  • We do not understand that equity does not equal equality
  • We do not know what it means to achieve both equality and equity

Do people deserve the same access (equality) and outcomes (equity), whether rich or poor? This question about fairness raises ethical issues about justice with respect to the polarities between individual values and community values. 

To what extent do we, in healthcare, hold:

  • Equity (outcomes) on par with equality (access)?
  • Equity and equality (community values) on par with freedom and liberty (individual values)? 
  • People-centered health on par with person-centered healthcare?

What Can People Do?

We, the People, can use social media to speak out and share our stories about "What's Most Unfair About Healthcare".  We must also work with the mass media to launch story movements: give people ongoing opportunities to share their unfortunate experiences. 

The aims of story movements are to: 
  • Listen empathically to each other's stories with open hearts and minds and put aside our political ideologies
  • Open, expand and align our mindsets for fair healthcare
  • Activate democratic participation, dialogues and debates about transforming healthcare policies
This process will activate us to continuously improve our healthcare policies in accordance to our needs. But first, we need to get the word out about the need to build story movements across the media.  

Sharing our stories about what's unfair about healthcare will create #NetworkPower for endorsing the equity pledges (people, political and professional) to build a coordinated campaign for equitable healthcare. We also need political and professional pledges to launch coordinated story movements for equitable healthcare.

Political Pledge

To create healthcare systems based on gender and health equity, we need a political pledge to maximize the upsides and minimize the downsides of individual and social values. This calls for managing the polarities between value systems.

We, the people, pledge that our government to use justice, equality and liberty to implement Gender and Health Equity in all policies for the greater good of all.

Professional Pledge

To create healthcare systems based on gender and health equity, we need to tell stories about unfair healthcare but more importantly, we need to tell our success stories about reducing gender and health equity, both at individual and population-based levels.

We, as healthcare professionals, pledge to use our limited resources to:
  • Enhance person-centered and family-centered healthcare and
  • Strive toward greater gender and health equity

We must use all three pledges to create fair opportunities for everyone to achieve their highest human potential of health and well-being.  This ideal is the true heart of democracy.  

This process will enable us to continuously improve the design of healthcare systems in accordance to our needs. 

Use #NetworkPower

We must share our stories about what's unfair about healthcare to create #NetworkPower for endorsing these pledges and building health movements.

Health Movements = Leadership + Professional + Social Movements

Let's build leadership, professional and social movements to work synergistically together in creating story movements about what's most unfair about healthcare.

Create Chain Reactions 


We need to build story movements about how to make healthcare fair and affordable to all. Unleash the power of stories to make healthcare accountable to the people.  Tell stories about family members and friends who suffered because of unfair healthcare. And invite others to do the same. 


  1. Share this blog post via Linkedin, Twitter and/or Facebook, Better still, make a comment and then share your comment along with your post. And invite others to do the same
  2. Ask people and organizations (professional, media, educational, political,etc) with large social reach on Linkedin, Twitter and Facebook connections to support story movements about unfair healthcare.
  3. Share your stories on Facebook and Linkedin and promote your story via Twitter

Read full blog to explore how closed mindsets impair our creativity, capabilities and capacities to address the complex challenges of reducing gender and health equities. 

This exploratory process aims to evoke slow thinking, self-reflection about emotional reactions and deep learning about our mindsets. This learning process aims to generate dialogues about conflicting political philosophies, moral priorities and biases in order to manage the polarities between individual and community values. 

Open Closed Mindsets

How can we open, expand and align our mindsets for gender and health equity?

To reverse a decline into self-righteous, closed-minded fundamentalism, we must use compassion, inclusion and diversity to cultivate civility and fair opportunities for all.

We need a a renaissance of virtues and open-mindedness in the post-truth era.


Dr. Rick Botelho Family Physician

Dr. Rick Botelho. Mindset Evocateur, Advocate for Gender and Health Equity, Health Movement Architect.

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