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Most nations have constitutional right to healthcare, not U.S.

July 26, 2013 at 5:38 PM   |   Comments

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LOS ANGELES, July 26 (UPI) -- Uruguay, Latvia, Senegal and more than half of the world's countries have a right to public health and medical care, but not the United States, researchers say.

The study, published in the journal Global Public Health, found the United States is one of 86 countries that does not guarantee their citizens any kind of health protection.

First author Dr. Jody Heymann, dean of the Fielding School of Public Health at the University of California, Los Angeles, and colleagues examined the level and scope of constitutional protection of specific rights to public health and medical care, as well as the broad right to health at two points in time: August 2007 and June 2011.

Despite the fact that all U.N. members have universally recognized the right to health and the right to health was written into the original foundational document establishing the international body in 1948, a constitutional definition of what health protection actually is varies widely between nations.

Further, how such protections have been implemented also varies widely, Heymann said.

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