Rights Based Approaches to Public Health Systems
RIGHTS-BASED APPROACHES TO PUBLIC HEALTH, p. 19, Elvira Beracochea, Corey Weinstein & Dabney Evans, eds, November 2010
8 Pages Posted: 26 Dec 2011
Date Written: 2010
A rights-based approach to public health systems focuses on underlying determinants of health - the economic, political, and social systems that determine health status and have far greater impact on health than the provision of medicine. With an understanding that health vulnerability is societally structured, public health systems can be seen to protect and promote the health of entire societies, employing multidisciplinary interventions to address the underlying causes of health and disease. By employing the language of human rights in health-related issues such as equity, discrimination, and social marginalization, public health advocates can achieve tangible health policy gains. However, it is necessary that public health scholars first gain a deeper understanding of the language of human rights and how these legal obligations can be applied in alleviating underlying determinants of health at the societal level through public health systems.
This chapter reviews the terms of the human rights debate, assesses the evolution of human rights for the public's health, and applies the normative frameworks of the right to health to reform the public health systems necessary to address underlying determinants of health through national and global health policy.
Keywords: right to health, determinants of health, global health policy, national health policy, human rights
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