Health Impact Assessment (HIA)

Health Impact Assessment: an idea whose time has come

Resource/Evaluation type

Overview paper

Subject area



United Kingdom

This editorial, published in the British Medical Journal in 1996, argues that "Health of the Nation", England's strategy for a healthy population, acknowledges that government policies in other sectors have an impact on health. Therefore, their consequences for health need to be assessed and, where necessary, appropriate action must be taken.
The author explains that HIA is a useful tool for reaching such objectives, and that the various methods used for HIA all recognise the importance of focusing on equitable outcomes, explicitly targeting disadvantaged groups, enabling the full participation of those likely to be affected by the policy or project, and using qualitative as well as quantitative methods of inquiry. The conclusion is that the HIA framework must be sufficiently broad to encompass the wide range of impacts on health.

More information


British Medical Journal, 313, pp. 183-184 (1996)

Author (s) and Email

E-mail: A.Scott-Samuel[at]

Owner contact details

British Medical Journal
BMA House
Tavistock Square
London WC1H 9JR
United Kingdom