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Public health law coverage in support of the health-related sustainable development goals (SDGs) among 33 Western Pacific countries

 Yuri Lee  ;  So Yoon Kim 
 GLOBALIZATION AND HEALTH, Vol.15(1) : 29, 2019 
Journal Title
Issue Date
Humans ; Pacific Islands ; Public Health/legislation & jurisprudence ; Sustainable Development
Public health law ;  Sustainable development goals ;  Western pacific countries
BACKGROUND: A resilient health system is inevitable in attaining the health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). One way of strengthening health systems is improving the coverage of public health laws for better health governance. The aim of this study is to describe the public health law situation in the Western Pacific Region and analyse the association of public health law coverage with health-related SDGs statistics. METHODS: A total of 33 Western Pacific countries were selected and analysed using a multi-group ecological study design. Public health law coverage was measured from April 2013 to October 2016 based on the public health law coverage module in the 'Tool to Assess Health Law' developed by the WHO Western Pacific Regional Office and Asian Institute for Bioethics and Health Law of Yonsei University. The health-related SDGs status were examined using health statistics data from World Health Statistics 2017 and 2018 by WHO and SDGs index scores of previous research. RESULTS: Countries with high public health law coverage were Vietnam, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Low coverage countries were mainly Pacific Island countries. High public health law coverage issues were health care organisation, communicable diseases, and substance abuse, whereas those of low coverage were human reproduction, family health, and oral health. Public health law coverage was associated with health-related SDGs statistics such as life expectancy at birth (r = 0.47, p = 0.03), health life expectancy at birth (r = 0.47, p = 0.04), health-related SDGs index (r = 0.43, p = 0.05). Among the SDG 3 indicators, maternal mortality ratio (r = - 0.53, p = 0.01), neonatal mortality rate (r = - 0.44, p = 0.02), new HIV infections (r = 0.78, p = 0.04), total alcohol consumption (r = 0.45, p = 0.02), adolescent birth rate (r = - 0.40, p = 0.04), UHC service coverage index (r = 0.50, p = 0.02), and IHR average core capacity score (r = 0.54, p = 0.004) were statistically meaningful. However, there was no association of public health law coverage with health statistics in other SDGs. CONCLUSIONS: This study proved the importance of public health law in supporting the attainment of health-related SDGs. These results should be used as the basis for review and action at country level in improving public health law for better health systems, consequently achieving health-related SDGs.
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1. College of Medicine (의과대학) > Dept. of Medical Law and Bioethics (의료법윤리학과) > 1. Journal Papers
Yonsei Authors
Kim, So Yoon(김소윤) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7015-357X
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