Health insurance, like other branches of insurance, is a form of mutual assistance by which people collectively pool their risk-in this case, the risk of incurring medical expenses. It may be provided through a government-sponsored social insurance program, or from private insurance companies. The covered groups or individuals pay premiums or taxes to help protect themselves from unexpected healthcare expenses. Similar benefits paying for medical expenses may also be provided through social welfare programs funded by the government.

Although many international and European instruments provide the right to health insurance, the Alma-Ata International Conference on Primary Health Care (1978) held by the World Health Organization (WHO) was the first event to put health equity on the international political agenda.

The International Labour Organization (ILO), the United Nations ...

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