Ministry of Health (MOH) Health Equity Impact Assessment (HEIA) Tool

Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (2012). Health Equity Impact Assessment (HEIA) Tool. Retrieved from Organization website:

Canadian Template available En français


This tool helps decision-makers consider equity issues in planning decisions. The tool analyzes a program or policy’s impact on health inequities and/or disadvantaged populations.

The HEIA tool can be used to:

  • identify potential unintended health impacts of a planned initiatives on vulnerable groups
  • develop recommendations for adjusting initiatives in ways to mitigate negative impacts, and optimize positive impacts on the health of vulnerable groups
  • embed equity across an organization’s decision-making process
  • support equity-based improvements in service delivery
  • raise awareness of health equity to support change within an organization

Steps for Using Method/Tool

The tool guides users through a five-step approach to conducting a health equity impact assessment:

  1. Scoping – Identify populations affected.
  2. Potential impacts – Assess the unintended health impacts of the action.
  3. Mitigation – Provide evidence-based recommendations to minimize negative impacts and maximize positive impacts.
  4. Monitoring – Determine how implementation has affected all populations.
  5. Dissemination – Share results and recommendations for addressing equity.

These summaries are written by the NCCMT to condense and to provide an overview of the resources listed in the Registry of Methods and Tools and to give suggestions for their use in a public health context. For more information on individual methods and tools included in the review, please consult the authors/developers of the original resources.

We have provided the resources and links as a convenience and for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement or an approval by McMaster University of any of the products, services or opinions of the external organizations, nor have the external organizations endorsed their resources and links as provided by McMaster University. McMaster University bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality or content of the external sites.

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