Right to the Highest Attainable Standard of Health

The right to the highest attainable standard of health requires Government to provide the conditions within which all individuals can achieve their highest standard of health. It does not mean there is a right to be healthy but it includes a broad range of socio-economic factors that promote conditions in which people can lead a healthy life. This right is therefore dependent on underlying determinants of health, such as food and nutrition, but also housing or a healthy environment, as well as health goods, facilities and services. As an economic, social and cultural right, Government should use its maximum available resources to continuously improve the realisation of this right, which may include investment in newer technologies, drugs or earmarking funds for additional staff and training.

The following elements underpin the right to health and help public officials develop solutions that comply with human rights obligations and allow individuals to enjoy their right to health: