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The right to health is sacrosanct

Dec 31,2017 - Last updated at Dec 31,2017

Jordanians above sixty years of age had a good reason to rejoice at the end of 2017 after having been added by the government recently to the other groups of people already covered by the state insurance network.

Hitherto, Jordanians over the age of 70 were covered over and above six-year-old children or younger by the national health scheme. 

This is good news even though there is still hope that all Jordanians would be covered by the national healthcare umbrella at some time in the near future. 

Many  Jordanians who are not already covered by the state health insurance plan benefit from other forms of medical insurance that are privately financed either by the companies where they work or by individual subscription. 

The right to health is sacrosanct under international human rights norms. Article 11 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, to which Jordan is a party, states that the "right of everyone to an adequate standard of living for himself and his family" must be secured. 

Article 12 is even more specific where it stipulates that the "right of every one to the enjoyment of the highest standard of physical and mental health" must also be provided.

Surely a day will come in Jordan when not only people over 60 or less than six years of age will be provided with free and accessible medical care but also other groups of people. 

Clearly Jordan's economic conditions do not allow for an extensive medical coverage for all. The mere extension of the existing medical care in Jordan to nationals over 60 years old costs the government JD25 million. For a country that can barely make ends meet, it is certainly beyond the means of the country to extend medical care to all people in the country. 

The fact that the government is constantly expanding the scope of the existing medical insurance to more and more groups of people suggests that the government is aware of its obligation to provide medical insurance to its people and keen to provide medical care to all citizens sooner than later.  

 

This is not to mention the added costs of providing healthcare to its Syrian refugee population numbering around 1.5 million. Sooner or later the Syrian refugees would be repatriated to their homeland in which case the ability of the government to extend medical care to all of its people becomes within reach. 

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Comments

PROGRESS AND WELL BALANCED PUBLIC HEALTH APPROACH AND I CONGRATULATE THE GOVERNMENT ON THIS POLICY THAT IS NOT ONLY HUMAN BUT ALSO A VISION OF GRADUAL MOVEMENT TOWARDS A SINGLE PAYER SYTEM OF HEALTH POLICY. GOOD JOB.

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