Abstract – Chapman

The Impact of Reliance on Private Sector Health Services on the Right to Health

A human rights approach is predicated on the responsibility of states to design health systems and implement health policies that are consistent with human rights requirements. However, in the contemporary health landscape, health services are increasingly delivered through private health sector institutions, and governments often lack direct control over some or many components of the health system. Private provision of health services does not change the role of the state as the ultimate guarantor of the realization of health rights obligations, but it makes implementing its responsibilities more difficult. This article explores the extent and ways in which privatization of health services potentially is and is not compatible with human rights commitments. Additionally, the article identifies factors and policies that can mitigate or exacerbate the impact of private health services on the realization of the right to health.