Misconceptions about the Right to health

Welcome back to our Running4Rights week! Today we will be discussing misconceptions surrounding the right to health:

  • The guarantee to good health

The right to health must not be confused with the right to be healthy, as the State cannot guarantee good health. Health is influenced by factors such as an individual’s DNA, and therefore beyond State control. It is for this reason that we refer to it as the right “to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health,” rather than an unconditional right to be healthy.

  • The right to health as a long-term goal. 

The right to health is subject to progressive realization. States must show that they are taking concrete, deliberate and targeted steps, to respect, protect and fulfill the right to health.

  • A country’s difficult financial situation justifies delaying or not taking action. 

States are still required to ensure the enjoyment of minimum essential levels of the right to health. They are minimum core obligations, and budgets should ensure that such goods and services are universally accessible.

  • The right to health only relates to the delivery of services.

While health service delivery is a major element when referring to the right to health, it can only be fully achieved if importance is given to the other factors which impact our health, as previously mentioned. Aside from this, example discrimination, poverty and stigma should also be addressed as they can and very often, do influence :

  • whether certain individuals receive or are denied health care;
  • the quality of services individuals receive; and
  • whether individuals will opt to avoid seeking health care altogether.

Don’t forget that you can run/walk/cycle/swim at your own pace for Running4Rights, wherever, whenever you want until and including tomorrow, 8th May 2022. Please do sign up here.

Come back tomorrow for our last post in this series and in meantime check out the following related Running4Rights posts:



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