April 2, 2013
On the website childrenschances.org, global maps can be found that show which countries have created constitutional protections of health. These maps demonstrate whether governments guarantee the rights to health, public health, and/or medical services in their nations’ constitutions.
The five questions addressed on this website are:
- Does the constitution take any approach to health?
- Do citizens have a specific right to health?
- Do citizens have a specific right to public health?
- Do citizens have a specific right to medical services?
- Does the constitution guarantee the right to health, public health, and medical services to citizens?
Colourful maps with sometimes surprising results answer each of these questions. For instance with regards to the fifth question, only a few countries guarantee all three rights mentioned in the question. Surprisingly, the majority of these countries are former third-world countries in Latin America (e.g., Brazil, Peru, Chile), while only two are first-world countries (Portugal and Spain).
The maps were created by the World Policy Analysis Center, an organisation that aims to improve the quantity and quality of globally comparative data on policies affecting human health, development, well-being, equity and the economy.