Health law


Universal Health Coverage Law (UHC)

For all aspects of health, there are binding rules that govern the rights and responsibilities of governments, health workers, businesses, civil society and the people of a country. Together, these rules constitute the legal framework, or the legal architecture of health. They take many forms, including: statutory laws, regulatory and administrative laws, contracts, case law and customary laws. The people involved in making these rules and the form they take differ from country to country.

Health laws are used to formalize commitment to goals, such as the goal of universal health coverage, creating momentum for action. To enable cooperation and achieve health goals, people use the law to create different organizations (such as hospitals) and relationships (such as contracts for the provision of health services). In turn, organizations (whether they are ministries of health, the private sector, or civil society) have mandates, policies and strategies based on legal rules that guide their work.

There are also many rules that structure what healthcare organizations and individuals should and cannot do. This interaction between different health laws results in the performance of health system functions and the delivery of health products and services.


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