Health Equity and Fairness for Everyone

Having access to healthcare alone does not make someone healthy. Health is also affected by where we live, work, and play. Social factors like income, education, community support, and early childhood development affect health. These social factors are called the social determinants of health.

Health Equity means that ALL members of the community have good opportunities to be healthy - regardless of their age, income level, gender, ethnic background, or any other social or economic reasons.

Creating equitable opportunities for health is part of Ottawa Public Health's current strategic plan. We work towards health equity in many ways, for example:

  • We monitor and report on the relationship between social factors, like income, and health outcomes in Ottawa;
  • We develop meaningful partnerships with community partners and organizations that work with people facing health inequities;
  • We modify our services to include those who have fewer opportunities to be healthy;
  • We participate in policy development to address the social determinants of health.

For more information related to Health Equity or the social determinants of health, you can visit:

Diversity and Inclusion

The City of Ottawa is committed to respecting the cultural diversity of all its residents. We strive to ensure that the services we provide are free from discrimination and are inclusive and reflective of all we serve. We embrace diversity at all levels including sexual orientation, gender identity, ethno cultural identity, and immigrant status.

Ottawa Public Health endeavours to ensure that its content and services are open, inclusive, safe, affirming and positive for of all the LGBTTQ+ community members and their allies.

We are adding articles, content, and resources on a regular basis.

We are striving to use inclusive language as well as inclusive photographs throughout the website, so that all families, regardless of family composition, cultural background, or preferred spoken language can see themselves as part of this community.

We ask because we care:
Gathering of client sociodemographic data at Ottawa Public Health

Why are we asking these questions ?
  • We want to know more about you so that we can serve you better.
  • Combining your information with everyone else’s lets us see who is accessing Ottawa Public Health services and improve services for everyone.
What is demographic information?

“Demographic” means information about a group of people that helps describe who they are. 

Demographics include things like:

  • Language
  • Indigenous Identity
  • Ethnicity or Ethnic Origin
  • Race or Racial Identity
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Household Income and Household Size
Is it legal to ask these questions?
Yes, the Ontario Human Rights Commission strongly encourages the collection of demographic information to make services more equitable for everyone.
Who can see your demographic information?
We take your privacy seriously. Your demographic information will be safely stored with your public health records. The information will be kept confidential and only accessible to those involved in your care.
How will we use this information?
We will use this information to ensure that you are getting the best care possible and have access to any available supports. We will also combine your demographic information with data from all the other people accessing Ottawa Public Health services. This will tell us more about who is and is not accessing our services. We use this information to make improvements to our services for everyone.
What if there are questions that you do not want to answer?

Providing this information is completely voluntary. You can answer all, some, or none of the questions. We will ask whether you consent/agree to provide this information and there will be a “prefer not to answer” option for all questions. Choosing not to answer or responding with “prefer not to answer” will not affect your care today or in the future.  And, if you provide your demographic information and later change your mind about having this information stored, analyzed, and reported, you may contact Ottawa Public Health at OPH-Epidemiology@ottawa.ca and ask that it be removed from your files.

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