Policy responses to the economic crisis have manifest consequences to European population health and health systems. The aim of this article is to assess, by using the capability approach advanced by Sen, the ethical dimension of trade-offs made in health policy due to austerity measures. From a capability approach point of view, austerity measures such as reducing resources for health care, further deregulating the health care market or moving towards privatisation are ethically challenging since they limit opportunities and capabilities for individuals of a population. Public policies should thus aim to guarantee sufficient capabilities (options to access health care and possibilities to make healthy choices) for its populations. Prioritising those in need is a notion the capability approach particularly focuses on in its goal of supporting those with the least capabilities.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health