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Innovations for better health & social justice

Call for papers

Innovations for better health and social justiceGlobal health systems remain far from achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goal 3 (SDG 3): "To ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages", and SDG 10: "Reduced inequalities". Progress has been made in many areas, notably in increasing life expectancy, reducing maternal and child mortality, and fighting communicable diseases. However, progress has stalled in some areas and the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has devastated health systems and communities, threatening the reversal of decades of work. 

Simultaneously, in 2020, the murder of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, by a white police officer in the USA, sparked a fresh wave of international protests against police brutality and racism. The death of George Floyd and other black Americans has catalyzed the exposure and discussions around deep-rooted injustices and systemic racism. Health systems are not immune and there is strikingly clear evidence of institutional racism, other forms of discrimination, and inequities in healthcare, globally. 

In 2020, Health Systems Global called upon the health services research community to consider how we can re-imagine health systems for better health and social justice. In support of this, and SDGs 3 and 10, BMC Health Services Research has launched a collection to curate innovative research broadly examining the environmental, political, and social factors that perpetuate health inequities and social injustices in health systems. We encourage submissions covering the following topics: 

  • Accessibility and affordability of care
  • All forms of prejudice, discrimination, and marginalization
  • Corruption
  • Freedom of movement and borders
  • Health disparities
  • Health policy, politics and power
  • New technologies, artificial intelligence, and big data for combatting health inequities 
  • Quality of health services and meeting the healthcare needs of people facing discrimination and marginalization
  • Resource distribution

Research may focus on specific marginalized population groups, such as indigenous populations or ethnic minority groups. 

Submission guidelines 

This collection welcomes submissions of Research articles, including systematic reviews, quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods research, on the topic of health inequities and social injustices in health systems. Unsolicited narrative reviews will not be considered, as per the journal's policies. Study Protocols will be considered at the discretion of the Journal's Editor. 

Data sets and descriptions relevant to the collection will be considered in BMC Research Notes as Data Notes. You can find out more about this article type here. This type of content will be published in BMC Research Notes and included in the final collection. 

Articles will undergo the journal’s standard peer-review process overseen by our Guest Editor, Magdalena Szaflarski, PhD (University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA). 

Before submitting your manuscript, please ensure you have carefully read the submission guidelines for BMC Health Services Research. Please ensure you highlight in your cover letter that you are submitting to a collection and select the collection in the submission questionnaire in Editorial Manager

Please visit this page to find out more about our article-processing charges. Members of Health Systems Global can claim a 20% discount on our article-processing charges, more information can be found here.

Submission deadline: 28th May 2022

Meet the Guest Editor

Magdalena Szaflarski, PhD, University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA

Magdalena SzaflarskiMagdalena Szaflarski, PhD, is a medical sociologist specializing in health and health care disparities and the social determinants of health. Dr. Szaflarski’s research has focused on immigrant health and health care, medicalization of cannabis, religion and HIV, social factors in epilepsy, and, recently, COVID-19 experiences and reactions.

  1. To examine racial/ethnic and educational inequities in the relationship between state-level restrictive abortion policies and adverse birth outcomes from 2005 to 2015 in the United States.

    Authors: Sara K. Redd, Whitney S. Rice, Monica S. Aswani, Sarah Blake, Zoë Julian, Bisakha Sen, Martha Wingate and Kelli Stidham Hall

    Citation: BMC Health Services Research 2021 21:1139

    Content type: Research article

    Published on:

  2. Occasions of self-discharge from health services before being seen by a health profession or against medical advice are often used by health systems as an indicator of quality care. People self-discharge becau...

    Authors: Deborah A. Askew, Wendy Foley, Corey Kirk and Daniel Williamson

    Citation: BMC Health Services Research 2021 21:907

    Content type: Research article

    Published on:

  3. Transgender, or trans, people experience a number of barriers to accessing gender-affirming healthcare and have a range of barriers and facilitators to primary care and specialist services, commonly citing dis...

    Authors: Talen Wright, Emily Jay Nicholls, Alison J Rodger, Fiona M Burns, Peter Weatherburn, Roger Pebody, Leanne McCabe, Aedan Wolton, Mitzy Gafos and T. Charles Witzel

    Citation: BMC Health Services Research 2021 21:609

    Content type: Research

    Published on:

  4. Poor reproductive, maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health outcomes in Nigeria can be attributed to several factors, not limited to low health service coverage, a lack of quality care, and gender inequ...

    Authors: Chioma Oduenyi, Joya Banerjee, Oniyire Adetiloye, Barbara Rawlins, Ugo Okoli, Bright Orji, Emmanuel Ugwa, Gbenga Ishola and Myra Betron

    Citation: BMC Health Services Research 2021 21:198

    Content type: Research article

    Published on:

  5. More fragmented ambulatory care (i.e., care spread across many providers without a dominant provider) has been associated with more subsequent healthcare utilization (such as more tests, procedures, emergency ...

    Authors: Lisa M. Kern, Mangala Rajan, Lisandro D. Colantonio, Evgeniya Reshetnyak, Joanna Bryan Ringel, Paul M. Muntner, Lawrence P. Casalino, Laura C. Pinheiro and Monika M. Safford

    Citation: BMC Health Services Research 2021 21:154

    Content type: Research article

    Published on:

  6. Valid and reliable quality measures can help catalyze improvements in health care. The care of transgender patients is ripe for quality measurement, as there is increasing awareness of the increasing prevalenc...

    Authors: Adam J. Rose, Michael S. Dunbar, Jaclyn M. W. Hughto and Guneet K. Jasuja

    Citation: BMC Health Services Research 2021 21:152

    Content type: Research article

    Published on:

Tackling health inequities and social injustices in health systems is vital for achieving the SDGs

Learn more about SDG3 'Good health and well-being' and Springer Nature's SDG programme

Learn more

Learn more about SDG10 'Reduced inequalities' and Springer Nature's SDG programme

Learn more