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The Right to Health Protection
Art. 1º All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood - Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Art. 25º Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control - Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Art. 64º 1.º Everyone shall possess the right to health protection and the duty to defend and promote health. 2.º The right to health protection shall be fulfilled: a) By means of a national health service that shall be universal and general and, with particular regard to the economic and social conditions of the citizens who use it, shall tend to be free of charge;
b) By creating economic, social, cultural and environmental conditions that particularly guarantee the protection of childhood, youth and old age; by systematically improving living and working conditions and also promoting physical fitness and sport at school and among the people; and by developing both the people’s health and hygiene education and healthy living practises;
3.º In order to ensure enjoyment of the right to the protection of health, the state shall be under a primary duty: a) To guarantee access by every citizen, regardless of his economic situation, to preventive, curative and rehabilitative medical care; b) To guarantee a rational and efficient nationwide coverage in terms of healthcare units and human resources; c) To work towards the public funding of the costs of medical care and medicines;
d) To regulate and inspect corporate and private forms of medicine and articulate them with the national health service, in such a way as to ensure adequate standards of efficiency and quality in both public and private healthcare institutions; e) To regulate and control the production, distribution, marketing, sale and use of chemical, biological and pharmaceutical products and other means of treatment and diagnosis;
f) To establish policies for the prevention and treatment of drug abuse. 4.º The national health service shall possess a decentralised and participatory management system. - Constitution of the Portuguese Republic
Perspectives on right to health protection Negative perspective consists in giving the citizens the right to demand that anyone (including the State) doesn’t prejudice their health. Positive perspective consists in the citizens right to demand from the State the necessary provisions to insure health and diseases.
PT health care systems NHS Public and Private Subsystems Private Voluntary Health Insurances
Expenditure on Health
Problems High use of hospital emergency deparments; Long waiting lists for surgical procedures; Mixed evidence about satisfaction of consumers and professionals about public services; Major increase in health expenditure and difficulties with costs control; Increased demand for health care from vulnerable groups; Difficulty in reducing mortality due to traffic accidents and life-style related diseases.
Barriers to access to primary health care Limited supply of services Geographical areas limitations Opening times Excessive cost/Unaffordability of services Lack of information Higher use of hospital emergency departments
Waiting Lists Is the capacity sufficient to meet current needs?
Responsiveness? Dignity Autonomy Confidenciality
Satisfaction Physicians Nurses Pharmaceuticals
US health care system Private Insurances Public programs: Medicare, Medicaid, The Children’s Health Insurance Program
Sources of payment for health care
Does the US recognize the Human Right to Health Care? No. The US as failed to recognize a universal human right to health care protection on a national level, and has not even adopted national principles that would distinguish the human rights and public health goals of health from the pursuit of profits. This failure is reflected in a health care financing system that leaves 47 million people without any health insurance.
Can the US afford Universal Health Care? Yes. The US is already the world’s biggest health care spender. A shift to a universal coverage and a single payer system would save in administrative costs (10% of health care spending) and it would be more than enoutgh to offset the universal coverage. It would not require decreasing the quality, instead it would redirect health care spent on wasteful administrative costs by insurance companies and advertising by pharmaceutical companies, as well as eliminating unjustified and excessive private sector profits.
Obstacles to Achieving Universal Quality Care Lack of a national health care plan Sharing of costs and benefits
The human right to health guarantees the creation of conditions which would assure to all medical service and medical attention in the event of sickness. International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (art. 12º) Carla Costa 2334
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