Healthcare Inequality in the Digital 21st Century: The Case for a Mandate for Equal Access to Quality Medicine for All

Julia M. Puaschunder, Dirk Beerbaum

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionProfessional


The currently ongoing COVID-19 crisis challenges health around the world. Public and private sector healthcare provision differs between countries. On an interconnected globe with a highly mobile 21st century population and a most contagious virus, healthcare appears as internationally-interdependent as never before in the history of humankind. More than ever before pandemic precaution requires globally-carried solutions and risks management based on internationally-harmonized action. The endeavor of a commonly healthy world is challenged in light of the nowadays unprecedentedly-blatant healthcare inequality around the world. Based on macroeconomic modelling, our empirical research brought forward four indices shedding light on health inequality in the 21st digital century. International data on digitalization, economic
prosperity, healthcare standards and innovation market financialization revealed that Europe and North America feature excellent starting positions on economic productivity and relatively low levels of corruption. Internet connectivity and high Gross Domestic Product are likely to lead on AI-driven big data insights for pandemic prevention, of which Europe, Asia and North America have optimal global healthcare leadership potential. Europe benefits from highest standards on public preventive medical care, while the United States has the most prosperous market financialization to advance medical innovations. Oceania performs well on general healthcare but has comparatively less international medical market power. Asia and the Gulf region are in the middle ranges of healthcare provision and market innovation financing but are critical on corruption, which also appears to hinder access to quality healthcare in South America. Africa ranks low on healthcare and raising funds for medical purposes in corruption-prone territories.
The currently ongoing COVID-19 crisis has created awareness for the global interconnectivity of healthcare but also heighted attention to the drastic medical standard differences around the world, which unprecedentedly leverages the sustainable development mandate to grant equal access to healthcare.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUNEQUAL WORLD Conference BOOK OF ABSTRACTS
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-945298-34-9
Publication statusPublished - 28 Sep 2020
MoE publication typeD3 Professional conference proceedings
EventUnequal World Conference - Virtual, Online
Duration: 28 Sep 202029 Sep 2020


ConferenceUnequal World Conference
CityVirtual, Online


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