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Healthcare as a Human Right: If not us, who? If not now, when?

Written by Xyrelle C. Supremo November 27th 2021

“Kasama ka sa pag-unlad” is a Filipino phrase that means every person is with growth and innovation. Needless to say, with this comes the fact that human rights are recognized. However, for the past few years, the issue of healthcare has remained relevant not only in my home country, but also around the world.

Internationally, the right to health is recognized as a fundamental human right. The World Health Organization stated in its constitution in 1946 that "enjoying the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition." This right was also included in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the 1966 International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights.

Universal health coverage means that everyone can get the medical services they need, when and when they need it, without having to pay a lot of money. It covers the entire spectrum of basic health services, from prevention to treatment, rehabilitation, and palliative care. Currently, at least half of the world's population does not have access to the health care they seek. Every year, almost 100 million individuals are forced into extreme poverty as a result of out-of-pocket health spending.

I'd like to emphasize the fact that access to health care varies—for the time being, at least. It all depends on where you reside, your nationality and race, how much money you make, what position you hold in the society, etc..

So much for “universal” isn’t it? If the implementation system does not change, we still have a long way to go. But how? Significant progress may be made in helping to save the lives of millions of people by focusing on more effective funding of health systems, improved sanitation and hygiene, and increased access to physicians.

It doesn't mean it doesn't exist or have an impact on others just because you aren't aware of it. For real change to happen, we must act now because if not today, when? If not us, who? It’s not only for the masses who seek but for you, as a human being.


Works cited:

WHO. (n.d.). Constitution of the world health organization1. CONSTITUTION OF THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION1. Retrieved November 16, 2021, from

World Health Organization. (n.d.). Universal Health Coverage. World Health Organization. Retrieved November 27, 2021, from

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