Social justice is the elimination in inequities in health. It aims at providing all people no matter who they are the best chances for achieving optimum health. Australia identifies and manages health priorities through the principles of social justice. There are two groups of principles for social justice. The first group of principles are made up of equity, diversity and supportive environments. Equity is the allocation of resources fairly in order for all Australians to have their health needs met and also the opportunity to do so. Occasionally this could mean some areas/ groups of people receive more allocated resources to redress prior/existing health inequities. Diversity is the adaptation of health services and facilities to cater for Australia’s diverse population.
Differences in cultures, age, socioeconomic backgrounds and language affect the type of health requirements an individual needs and through diversity in health services and facilities the nations varied health needs will be met. Medicare schemes and initiatives aim at providing diversity in health services with their culturally friendly assistance to migrants and their services determination to provide people with the proper health service requirements they need. Supportive environments is when environments are structured in a way to provide all people their rights in regards to adequate health care and the means and resources for them to achieve optimal health. Creating supportive environments can be through locating health services in all areas such as metropolitan, rural and remote; ensuring health products are afforded and used by all who need them, this can be done through the reduced cost of medicines for people who are financially unstable.
The second group of principles for social justice come under the acronym Pear. These principles include participation, equity, access and rights. Participation refers to the community involvement in the planning and decision making in regards to their health. Equity again is the allocation of resources fairly. Access is the ability for all Australians to access use health services, information and education. Rights are the fairness in opportunities for all individuals to achieve optimal health. Social justice allows us to identify health priorities and areas in society that are experiencing health inequities. Through this knowledge we are able to implement strategies to combat these problems and create social justice among all facets of Australia to allow all individuals to achieve long lasting good health. Areas where the identification of health inequities have been tackled are with the implementation of the pharmaceutical benefits scheme and the Medicare safety net.