The right to health and the privatization of health care services: a case study of the Netherlands

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Many countries have national health systems that cover all or part of the population. An aging population and advances in medical technology are making health insurance increasingly expensive, and governments are left seeking cost-effective options. The Dutch government is reorganizing its health care system and seeking to combine economic competition with a right to health in order to improve the health of its population. This article addresses privatization in terms of a right to health and asks whether governments can privatize their health care systems while also guaranteeing the availability, accessibility, acceptability, and quality of health care services. It is suggested that a "right to health impact assessment" can be a useful tool applicable also to the privatization processes in other countries.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102-127
Number of pages25
JournalHealth and Human Rights
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Healthcare privatisation, human rights, AAAQ

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