"An issue for HIFA (apart from considering the case for access to reliable health information being a human right in itself) - what avenues could there be to encourage, persuade or pressure states to fulfil their legal obligations in regard to universal access to the determinants of health, particularly health (care) information?"
One way forward could be to identify those organisations that are taking the lead in the 'right to health', and to work with them to promote access to reliable healthcare information as a key determinant of the right to health.
Which organisations are taking the lead in the right to health? I would like to hear thoughts from other HIFA members.
The most obvious is the World Health Organization itself. WHO's website says:
"WHO has made a commitment to support Member States in their efforts to mainstream human rights into healthcare programmes and policies by looking at underlying determinants of health as part of a comprehensive approach to health and human rights."
HIFA is now working in official relations with WHO, which gives us the opportunity to work with them to promote universal access to reliable healthcare information as a determinant of the right to health.
The first step is to demonstrate solidarity among health workers, patients, publishers, librarians, information professionals, researchers and the general public. Our approach for doing this is the current global survey on universal access to reliable healthcare information. If we can get 10,000 responses by 30th September we shall have a real impact. We currently have 591 responses: we need a further 9,409!
I urge all HIFA members to complete the survey and send the URL to everyone you know:
HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of HIFA (Healthcare Information For All), a global health community that brings all stakeholders together around the shared goal of universal access to reliable healthcare information. HIFA has 20,000 members in 180 countries, interacting in four languages and representing all parts of the global evidence ecosystem. HIFA is administered by Global Healthcare Information Network, a UK-based nonprofit in official relations with the World Health Organization. Email: email@example.com