Global Health Law & Governance Amidst the Pandemic : Evidence, Lessons, and Reforms

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-269
Journal / PublicationAnnals of Health Law & Life Sciences
Volume30
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020

Abstract

The phrase “desperate times require desperate measures” holds true in the context of the mitigation efforts initiated at both the domestic and international levels by governments, corporations, multilateral institutions, and individuals to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has crippled the global economy and has showcased the urgent need for better health infrastructure and efficient accessibility to healthcare services. COVID-19has presented numerous challenges because of dispute resolution including general international and investment claims and trade law violations. Against this backdrop, this paper proposes the formation of a health index– the Health Infrastructure Index (HII) – as an alternative to the existing Human Development Index (HDI) and Healthcare Access and Quality (HAQ). In order to understand and tackle domestic health vulnerability, the HII includes the availability of skilled medical professionals, government expenditure on health care and the likelihood of international funding. International cooperation as a response is emerging as a key factor to fight against COVID-19. The HII index highlights critical areas where domestic or multilateral interventions are required. With the inherent limitations of conventional health indices, the HII offers both the possibility of evidence and research-based international coordination of health-related policies and encourages participatory development.

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