Department     College of Asia Pacific Studies
   Position   Professor
Language English
Publication Date 2013/03
Type Bulletin of university, Research institution
Peer Review Peer reviewed
Title Health security and the human right of access to affordable healthcare
Contribution Type Single Work
Journal Proceedings, 13TH Asian Bioethics Conference Concurrent with the Sixth UNESCO Asia-Pacific School of Ethics Roundtable Bioethics and Life: Security, Science and Society
Volume, Issue, Page 1(1),pp.83-89
Details Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights refers to “the right of everyone to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including … medical care …”. This article also entitles mothers and children to “special care and assistance”. Ensuring access of almost every individual living in a country to the needed medical care requires the provision of health insurance coverage to a population pool and gradually expanding the pool to the whole population. Governmental, social, private, and community -based healthcare coverage are four general models that have been used in different countries with varying details in the sources of funding, pooling of contributions, and the purchase of the covered healthcare services. These models have had varying levels of success depending on not only the availability of funds, domestic or foreign assistance, but also on the political commitment of the state, and the social solidarity and cultural attitude of the population towards universal healthcare. Universal healthcare depends on economic development, as well as the solidarity of the people and the political commitment of their governments. The ethical perspective of pooling resources across various groups of people in a population with different levels of income, and different health risks associated with age, genetics and lifestyle, may raise the issue of individual autonomy versus social solidarity. However, providing universal access to essential healthcare should be regarded as a basic human right.
Note: Published by ASIA PACIFIC FORUM ON ETHICS AND SOCIAL JUSTICE MALAYSIA, 2013. The conference was Organised by
Asian Bioethics Association (ABA), Asia Pacific Forum on Ethics & Social Justice (Malaysia), and the Regional Unit in Social and Human Sciences in Asia and the Pacific (RUSHSAP), UNESCO, Bangkok. The Strategic Partners were
Institute of Diplomacy & Foreign Relations (IDFR) Malaysia,
Faculty of Social Sciences & Humanities (UKM),
Institute of Malaysian & International Studies (IKMAS-UKM)
and the Eubios Ethics Institute.