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Paying for the Consequences. How Privatization and Austerity Disabled Infection Protection Law

Abstract : The authors argue that the privatization of health care not only privileges profitable health provision and loses sight especially of community services and basic medical treatment but also tends to imply a crippling change of the legal tools available to face a pandemic. Privatization, flanked by austerity programs, disempowers public health institutions and authorities as well as disables the regular legal regimes covering public health. When confronted by a pandemic, they hold, privatized systems lay bare the limitations of healthcare understood as a business and framed within insurance contracts, not universal rights. After introducing the core elements of neoliberalism and the tailor-made reduction of law’s vertical, regulatory power the authors discuss in which respects public health systems are privatized how deregulation, austerity and reduced welfare are essential to privatization. They show how the law of danger prevention is replaced by a legal regime of market transactions, focusing on the liberalized elements of healthcare and some of the crucial legal instruments in various socio-economic and political contexts. In the final section follows an analysis of various legal strategies in a few selected countries that illustrates how privatization disabled regular infection protection law and as a consequence favored authoritarian responses to the pandemic.
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Submitted on : Monday, October 25, 2021 - 4:05:38 PM
Last modification on : Monday, February 14, 2022 - 4:20:02 PM

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Helena Alviar García, Günter Frankenberg. Paying for the Consequences. How Privatization and Austerity Disabled Infection Protection Law. Verfassung und Recht in Übersee, Nomos, 2021, 54 (1), pp.27-54. ⟨10.5771/0506-7286-2021-1-27⟩. ⟨hal-03402371⟩

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