Right to Health in the Oldest Colony of The World: An Interdisciplinary Participatory Action Research

AutorNylca J. Muñoz Sosa, JD, DrPHc, MPH - Marinilda Rivera Díaz, PhD, MSW - Juan F. Correa Luna, JD
CargoDoctoral candidate in Public Health with specialty in Social Determinants of Health at the Graduate School of Public Health, University of Puerto Rico - Social Researcher at Social Sciences Research Center, and Professor at Beatriz Lasalle School of Social Work and the Department of Social Work, University of Puerto Rico - Law Professor at ...
Páginas119-143
1192018
RIGHT TO HEALTH IN THE OLDEST COLONY OF THE WORLD:
AN INTERDISCIPLINARY PARTICIPATORY ACTION RESEARCH
NYLCA J. MUÑOZ SOSA, JD, DRPHC, MPH*
MARINILDA RIVERA DÍAZ, PHD, MSW**
JUAN F. CORREA LUNA, JD***1
RESUMEN
Este artículo tiene el propósito de presentar la condición colonial de Puer-
to Rico (PR) y sus implicaciones para el derecho a la salud. A través de la
metodología de investigación-acción-participativa (IAP), se exploraron las
experiencias de los participantes con los servicios de salud en PR, y su co-
nocimiento sobre el derecho a la salud. Clínicas ambulatorias y representa-
ciones artísticas se incorporaron a la IAP. Se analizaron 1,068 cuestionarios.
Los resultados demuestran que: el 93% reconoció la salud como un derecho
-
dicó conocer a alguien que emigró para obtener servicios de salud, y el 62%
119
* Doctoral candidate in Public Health with specialty in Social Determinants of Health at the

   Alianza de Salud para el Pueblo,
and co-coordinator of Colectivo Somos Dign@s and Trayecto Dignidad 3.
** Social Researcher at Social Sciences Research Center, and Professor at Beatriz Lasalle
 
coordinator and member of Somos Dign@s and Trayecto Dignidad 3.
*** Law Professor at Inter-American University School of Law and co-founder of Colectivo
Somos Dign@s, Coordinator of Trayecto Dignidad 1,2 and 3.
1 Co-authors would like to thank all contributors to Trayecto Dignidad 3: Colectivo Somos
Dign@s, dozens of students (law, social work under the course Análisis de la Realidad
(Reality Analysis), Pro-bono Justicia en Salud, University of Puerto Rico School of Law
and faculty members at the Inter-American University and University of Puerto Rico School
of Law, the Beatriz Lasalle Graduate School of Social Work, and the Graduate School of
Public Health. Special thanks to students María de los Angeles Vargas, Kamil Gerónimo,
Angélica García y Edilí Quiñones, who helped in data management and to the statistician
Ángel Suárez Rivera, MPH for his assistance.
REVISTA DE ESTUDIOS CRÍTICOS DEL DERECHO120 VOLUMEN 14
       

-
nes de salud. Aunque se reconoció la salud como un derecho humano, los
participantes desconocían los principios y acciones que deben ser garantiza-
dos y provistos por el estado para lograrlo. Se recomienda un SUS como una
forma de garantizar la salud como un derecho humano sin la interferencia de

ABSTRACT
In 1952, the US Congress rejected Article 2, Section 20 of Puerto Rico’s
Constitution. Section 20 recognized the right to health as it was conceived in
the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Sixty-two years after the Consti-
tution’s approval, this right has not been expressly recognized in Puerto Rico
as it has been internationally, but the struggle for its recognition remains.
      
implications for the recognition of the right to health and second to present
an example of the emergence of counter-hegemonic forces that use human
rights discourse and framework towards a “globalization from below”, as
Boaventura De Sousa Santos proposes. Through participatory-action-re-
search methodology (PAR), the study explored participant’s experiences with
health care services in Puerto Rico as well as their health-rights knowledge.
Health care clinics, music and arts performances, were incorporated into the
PAR methodology. Survey responses from 1,068 participants are analyzed
and discussed. Results indicated that: 93% recognized health as a human
          
themselves primarily responsible for their health status and not the state, con-
    
has left Puerto Rico to obtain health care services, and 62% would consid-
     


participation in health decisions. Although recognition of health as human
right was revealed, participants did not know the core principles and actions
that must be guaranteed and taken by the state. A universal health system
with single payer as a way to guarantee health as a human right without the

Keywords: right to health, human rights, Trayecto Dignidad, colonialism,
Puerto Rico, healthcare system, participatory action research, globalization

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