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The International Right to Health: What Does It Mean in Legal Practice and How Can It Affect Priority Setting for Universal Health Coverage?

Published on Jan 2, 2016in Health Systems and Reform
· DOI :10.1080/23288604.2016.1124167
Rebecca E. Dittrich1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Johns Hopkins University),
Leonardo Cubillos1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Dartmouth College)
+ 2 AuthorsKalipso Chalkidou8
Estimated H-index: 8
Abstract
AbstractAbstract—The international right to health is enshrined in national and international law. In a growing number of cases, individuals denied access to high-cost medicines and technologies under universal coverage systems have turned to the courts to challenge the denial of access as against their right to health. In some instances, patients seek access to medicines, services, or technologies that they would have access to under universal coverage if not for government, health system, or service delivery shortfalls. In others, patients seek access to medicines, services, or technologies that have not been included or that have been explicitly denied for coverage due to prioritization. In the former, judicialization of the right to health is critical to ensure patients access to the technologies or services to which they are entitled. In the latter, courts may grant patients access to medicines not covered as a result of explicit priority setting to allocate finite resources. By doing so, courts may ...
  • References (25)
  • Citations (8)
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References25
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#1Ryan Li (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence)H-Index: 12
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Abstract—A moral right to health or health care, given reasonable resource constraints, implies a reasonable array of services, as determined by a fair deliberative process. Such a right can be embodied in a constitution where it becomes a legal right with similar entitlements. What is the role of the courts in deciding what these entitlements are? The threat of “judicialization” is that the courts may overreach their ability if they attempt to carry out this task; the promise of judicialization...
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