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Human Rights to Health


Human rights to health means that everyone has the rights to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, which include access to all medical services, sanitation, adequate food, descent housing, healthy working conditions, and a clean environment. It guarantees a system of health protection for all. Everyone has the rights to the health care they need, and rights to living conditions that enable us to be healthy. It must be provided as a public good for all, financed publicly and equitably.

Key Human Rights Standards:-

1. universal access: equitable basis, affordable, comprehensive, physically accessible

2. availability: adequate health care infrastructures and services, available to all geographical areas and to all communities

3. acceptability & dignity: respect dignity, culturally appropriate care, respect medical ethics and protect confidentiality

4. quality: good quality standards and control mechanisms, patient-centred

5. non-discrimination: intent and effect

6. transparency: early accessible health information

7. participation: individuals or communities must take active role

8. accountability: compliant with standards & regulations, independent compliance monitoring

Public Good:-

A commodity or service that is provided without profit to all members of a society, either by the government or by a private individual or organization. A public good is non-excludable and non-rival. The health care system of Hong Kong is not a public good. For the public health care, it is non-excludable because it only charges basic fee and provides subsidy to those in need. It is rival because of limited resources and it sets priority in provision of care. For the private health care, it is excludable because it charges fully for all the costs and thus it is rival as well.

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