Close-up Of An Open Law Book On Wooden Desk In Courtroom.

Can Rights Make Any Difference for Access to Health? Insights from a Scoping Review on Constitutional Rights for the WHO Council on the Economics of Health for All

By Luciano Bottini Filho, Camila Gianella Malca, and Alicia Ely Yamin

The intersection of health financing and the right to health is a common concern in public health advocacy. However, it is challenging to isolate the mechanisms that connect individuals’ rights with increased public investment. As scholars, we grapple with the question of what happens once the right to health is constitutionalized and whether it has a transformative effect on the economy, government funding, and the material reality people face in struggling health care systems. In this article, we shed light on this significant gap between the adoption of the right to health through constitutions or legislation and actual changes in the economy and government funding for health. Our study was commissioned by the WHO Council on the Economics of Health for All, which received the mandate of formulating a new global economic model to achieve health for all.

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Doctors and patients sit and talk. At the table near the window in the hospital.

Does the Right to Health Enhance Patient Rights?

By Luciano Bottini Filho

Despite the value of a constitutionally enshrined right to health, such a guarantee, on its own, does not ensure patient rights or a nuanced understanding of patient-centered care.

This article will consider the case study of Brazil as an example. Despite Brazil’s recognition of the right to health, this constitutional protection does not set sufficient standards to guide judicial decision-making around patient care.

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