Healthcare as a Fundamental Human Right: The Alma Ata’s Role in Shaping Health Policy in Three North American Countries
The World Health Organization’s Alma Ata Declaration set a new world standard for human rights following its publication in 1978. By declaring health and healthcare as fundamental human rights, it pushed the boundaries of social safety nets provided by most of the world to one that was cognizant of the complexity of wellbeing and social determinants of health. The following is a review of the Alma Ata Declaration that explores its theory and application. It unpacks the political, philosophical, and ethical elements of the Alma Ata, and it conducts a comparison among three North American countries – Canada, The United States, and Mexico in the post-Alma-Ata era. The review ends with a few concluding remarks about the future of U.S. health policymaking and implementation. Overall, the review aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the Alma Ata Declaration by exploring its intended goals, ideals in action, and impact on future health policy.