Published on September 19, 2008
What Are Health Rights?Overview for healthcare practitioners and policy makers Dr. Neelesh Bhandari MBBS, MD PGP Human Rights New Delhi, India firstname.lastname@example.org facebook.com/drneelesh
• WHO constitution (1948) aims to makehighest attainable standard of health asone of the fundamental rights of everyhuman being (without distinction).• Article 12 of The International Covenanton Economic, Social and Cultural Rights(1966) was the first document to outlinesteps which need to be taken to realizeRight to Health.
In May 2000, The Committee on Economic , Social and Cultural Rights adopted a general comment (no. 14) on Right to Health.
The General Comment sets out 4 criteria by which to evaluate the right to health.
Availability Functioning public health andhealthcare facilities, goods and services, as well as programs, have to be available in sufficient quantity. .
AccessibilityHealth facilities, goods and services haveto be accessible to everyone withoutdiscrimination, within the jurisdiction ofthe State party. Contd.
Contd. AccessibilityAccessibility has four overlapping dimensions: 1. Physical accessibility 2. Information accessibility 3. Economic accessibility 4. Non-Discrimination
Contd. AccessibilityInformation accessibility includes the rightto seek, receive and impart information andideas concerning health issues.However, accessibility of information shouldnot impair the right to have personal healthdata treated with confidentiality.
AcceptabilityHealth facilities, goods and services must be • respectful of medical ethics, • culturally appropriate, • sensitive to gender and life-cycle requirements, as well as being designed to • respect confidentiality and improve the health status of those concerned
QualityHealth facilities, goods and servicesmust be scientifically and medically appropriate and of good quality.
Working to improve these criteria are steps towards realization of our fundamental Right to Health.
Imp. Documents• General Comment No. 14 (2000) of TheCommittee on Economic , Social and CulturalRights http://bit.ly/nOliAR• Article 12 of The International Covenant onEconomic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966)http://bit.ly/gq5j9L
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