Denial of the right of health

Other Names:
Denial of right to highest obtainable physical and mental health
Violation of the right to health
Health today gives cause for concern because it is precarious and accessible to only some privileged groups of people that are becoming fewer and rarer. In many countries, particularly developing ones, the health system consists of a few small islands in a sea of excluded people without access to health care in its most elementary form.
For a very large part of the population, health care is inaccessible because of its cost. The spread of serious diseases, the ease of their propagation and the resistance being built up by their vectors should lead to greater solidarity between the rich and the poor, since the security of the rich lies in providing for the health needs of the poor. The continents have grown closer together and no disease or human suffering can be contained within a State's borders.

The cost of health care is weighing heavily on the savings of families and the economies of States, whether large or small, developed or developing. Medical treatment is as expensive as the medication needed to treat the illness diagnosed. This situation puts the minimum needed for health beyond the reach of the most disadvantaged segments of society, namely, workers and their families, children, women and the elderly. For these groups of human beings, the right to health is an inaccessible luxury.

This right to health should be understood as both an individual and a collective right and should be a constant concern of the international community, of States and of individuals. The international community should be more involved and cooperate more with States, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations. To be successful, however, such cooperation requires a new balance in the world economic order and all its subsidiary systems. It is a well-known fact that 20 per cent of the world's population controls 80 per cent of the world's resources and technological benefits. This increasingly pronounced imbalance exposes the disadvantaged vulnerable groups and peoples of the third world to serious shortfalls in all areas, including health. The concentration of pharmaceutical industries and the means of combating serious contemporary diseases (such as AIDS) in the hands of a few industrialized countries prevents most of the world's population from benefiting from the scientific advances and discoveries of this century.
Problem Type:
J: Problems Under Consideration
Date of last update
27.01.2000 – 00:00 CET