Solidarumo principo turinys ir vaidmuo sveikatos priežiūros teisinio reguliavimo srityje.
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The principle of solidarity is one of the fundamental legal principles applied in the field of health care regulation. This article analyses EU and Lithuanian legal acts, judicial practice, the doctrine of law and foreign scientific resources in order to reveal the content of solidarity principle and to discuss its role in the legal regulation of health care both at EU and national levels. The article is divided into three parts. The first part of the paper examines the correlation between the right to health established in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights (the Charter) and the principle of solidarity as the fundamental value upon which the EU is ‘founded’ and which it seeks to ‘preserve and develop’, as the preamble to the Charter states. It is noticed that the principle of solidarity is one of the principles which characterize the European law on social protection. In the summary of the findings of the article, the author states that this principle can be considered as a tool to achieve a greater social cohesion within the EU Member States in defining and implementing all policies and activities in order to ensure a high level of human physical, mental and social health protection through, first of all, a reduction of health care inequalities. For that it is necessary to tackle the factors which determine health care inequalities among the EU Member States. The right to health care, as defined in Chapter IV (‘Solidarity’) of the Charter, means that this social right of every EU citizen is a solidarity-based right. Presumably, it implicates solidarity obligations to persons. In the second part of the article, the status of the solidarity principle in the Lithuanian constitutional tradition and in legal acts provisions governing health care regulation is discussed. Attention is drawn to the fact that the recent national health insurance system generally guarantees the accessibility of health care for almost every resident of the state; therefore, solidarity and equal access are twin principles in the Lithuanian health care system. The third part of the article presents certain insights into the future prospects of solidarity principle in the field of health care regulation. As rising costs of health care made it increasingly difficult to maintain universal access to all kinds of medical services for free, the author arrives at a conclusion that the importance of individual responsibility for health will increase.
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