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Arch Hellen Med, 27(1), January-February 2010, 106-112


The impact of globalization in the healthcare arena
and the development of a supernational prescriptive framework

Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of Nursing, Cyprus University of Technology, Limassol, Cyprus

The phenomenon of globalization, comprising a combination of economic development, technology and cultural influences, has constituted a controversial issue with positive and negative effects in the healthcare arena. The level of health of the population is dependent on various factors which are directly or indirectly influenced by the effects of globalization. On the one hand, it is advocated that globalization has contributed to the elimination of poverty, whilst on the other hand it can be supported that globalization of the economy has led to the development of inequalities, exclusions, categorization of people and the persistence of squalid conditions. It is generally believed that the extirpation of distances and the advancement of informatics will have positive influences in the healthcare arena. However, the abolition of borders has significantly increased population movements and the spread of infectious diseases. In addition, the deterioration of the climate change has worsened the situation in the healthcare arena. The effect of globalization on the way healthcare services are financed has been a redefinition of the role of the state, which necessitates the participation of international organizations in the development of new health policies. Approaching health as a global benefit at international level has become a necessity. The effort to protect the health of populations from the negative effects of globalization finds expression through the Word Health Organization (WHO), which has defined specific targets for achieving the highest possible health levels for people worldwide. The European Union (EU) through the Maastricht and Amsterdam conventions, has laid the foundations for the development of public health, but it has not yet been possible to adopt a common policy by the health systems of the member states.

Key words: Globalization, Health, Health policy, Inequalities.

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