The right to health

1142px-Directors_of_Global_Smallpox_Eradication_ProgramThe right to health

Healthcare is a subject of numerous debates around the globe. In most civilized Western countries, the governments are providing their citizens with free healthcare. This means that you will get picked up by an ambulance, driven to a hospital and treated for whatever disease you might have – for free. Among Western countries, it is only the United States of America that does not still have a nationwide healthcare programme.

The current Obama administration tried implementing the much-discussed Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, but several years after it went live most US citizens still rely on private insurances to cover their medical expenses. For some, a long-term sickness could spell disaster as the banks move in to seize properties not being paid for, and jobs are not willing to pay sick-leave for too long. Scandinavia is most probably the region of this planet which has the most efficient, reliable, and most importantly, completely free healthcare system. There, you could even talk to a doctor through a web cam using a service called Kry. With a small population and a high GDP (gross domestic product), their governments can afford to provide people with everything they could possibly need in rough times.

Human rights – health not included

Now, all this being said and the human rights being the central focus of this website, it is important to note that there is no “right to health”. Even though 48 countries signed and approved the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, it does not include free healthcare. It does, however, give you the right to life. The right to health is widely attributed to the World Health Organization, an international agency with the mission of trying to improve the health of the population worldwide, and supply states with much-needed vaccines or medicines.

Health has become a top priority in some countries, but there are far too many places in this world were lives still have less value than in our Western society.