A Health equity audit (HEA) is a tool used to examine whether resources are distributed fairly, relative to the health needs of different groups. The overall aim is not to distribute resources equally but rather, relative to health need. It is used to identify and address inequalities, by enabling a systematic review of inequities in ill-health or in access to effective services.
Equities refer to situations where level of access is truly related to level of need. HEA specifically investigates issues around access to healthcare according to epidemiology and demographic group.
An important advantage is that HEA uses data on health inequalities to support decisions for all populations at all levels for example: making comparsions by area, ethnicity, socio-economic group, gender and age.