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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 102, Issue 3, pp 204–206 | Cite as

Why Are Some Settings Resource-poor and Others Not? The Global Marketplace, Perfect Economic Storms, and the Right to Health

  • Ted SchreckerEmail author
Commentary
  • 2 Downloads

Abstract

Analyses of how health system priorities should be set in resource-poor settings are routine in the health ethics and policy analysis literature. Less attention is devoted to asking why some settings are resource-poor and others not. Asking this question must be considered a central task of global health research. Comparison of the relatively meager resources devoted to improving the health of the poor with the sums routinely mobilized for other purposes serves as a basis for ethical reflection and a route into necessary questioning of power imbalances in the world economy. The 2008 financial crisis and related developments underscore the urgency of such questioning, and the value of research and advocacy collaborations (for example, between the human rights and public health research and practice communities) focused specifically on the destructive consequences of the global marketplace for health.

Key words

Globalization resource allocation economic conditions ethics 

Résumé

Dans les travaux publiés sur l’éthique de la santé et l’analyse des politiques, on trouve couramment des analyses de l’établissement des priorités des systèmes de santé dans les milieux pauvres en ressources. On consacre cependant moins d’attention à se demander pourquoi certains milieux sont pauvres en ressources et d’autres non. Or, poser cette question devrait être une tâche centrale de la recherche en santé mondiale. Nous avons comparé les ressources relativement maigres qui sont consacrées à améliorer la santé des pauvres avec les sommes importantes que l’on réunit systématiquement dans d’autres buts, et nous en avons fait la base d’une réflexion éthique et une voie vers un questionnement nécessaire des déséquilibres de pouvoirs dans l’économie mondiale. La crise financière de 2008 et ses répercussions soulignent l’urgence d’un tel questionnement, ainsi que l’utilité des collaborations entre les chercheurs et les défenseurs des droits (p. ex., entre les communautés de recherche et de praticiens en droits humains et en santé publique) qui portent spécifiquement sur les conséquences dévastatrices du marché international pour la santé.

Mots clés

mondialisation allocation de ressources économie éthique 

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Population HealthUniversity of OttawaOttawaCanada

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