Health Systems


Access to high quality medical care for individuals, groups and populations is highly dependent upon the structure and strength of the health care system. While the World Medical Association (WMA) does not promote a certain type of health care system, it considers the availability of healthcare and affordable, timely access to healthcare a human right.

It is a state’s obligation to provide laws, regulations, and sometimes┬ástructure and institutions, that ensure health and medical care is provided to all people without discrimination. This can be done in various ways, but it should honour the values and culture of the respective society.

The WMA supports the World Health Organization in its efforts to build and strengthen healthcare systems. Only comprehensive healthcare systems, which include strong primary, secondary, tertiary care and public health structures, will provide barrier-free, equitable access and efficient treatment to patients. Healthcare systems must also provide mechanisms to include disadvantaged populations and must carefully consider social determinants of health.