Title
What could a strengthened right to health bring to the post-2015 health development agenda? Interrogating the role of the minimum core concept in advancing essential global health needsWhat could a strengthened right to health bring to the post-2015 health development agenda? Interrogating the role of the minimum core concept in advancing essential global health needs
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Law
Research group
Faculteit Rechten
Law and Development
Publication type
article
Publication
London,
Subject
Law
Human medicine
Source (journal)
BMC international health and human rights. - London
Volume/pages
13(2013):48, p. 1-11
ISSN
1472-698X
ISI
000328491700001
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
Background Global health institutions increasingly recognize that the right to health should guide the formulation of replacement goals for the Millennium Development Goals, which expire in 2015. However, the right to healths contribution is undercut by the principle of progressive realization, which links provision of health services to available resources, permitting states to deny even basic levels of health coverage domestically and allowing international assistance for health to remain entirely discretionary. Discussion To prevent progressive realization from undermining both domestic and international responsibilities towards health, international human rights law institutions developed the idea of non-derogable minimum core obligations to provide essential health services. While minimum core obligations have enjoyed some uptake in human rights practice and scholarship, their definition in international law fails to specify which health services should fall within their scope, or to specify wealthy country obligations to assist poorer countries. These definitional gaps undercut the capacity of minimum core obligations to protect essential health needs against inaction, austerity and illegitimate trade-offs in both domestic and global action. If the right to health is to effectively advance essential global health needs in these contexts, weaknesses within the minimum core concept must be resolved through innovative research on social, political and legal conceptualizations of essential health needs. Summary We believe that if the minimum core concept is strengthened in these ways, it will produce a more feasible and grounded conception of legally prioritized health needs that could assist in advancing health equity, including by providing a framework rooted in legal obligations to guide the formulation of new health development goals, providing a baseline of essential health services to be protected as a matter of right against governmental claims of scarcity and inadequate international assistance, and empowering civil society to claim fulfillment of their essential health needs from domestic and global decision-makers. Keywords: Human rights; Right to health; Minimum core obligations; Millennium development goals; Post-2015 health development agenda; Global health; Equity
Full text (open access)
https://repository.uantwerpen.be/docman/irua/cd75ef/27638e2c.pdf
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