European Network against privatization and commercialization of Health and Social protection
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Video project: call for testimonies!

D 11 October 2019    


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Video project: call for testimonies! The commodification of health, its mechanisms and its consequences on the health of the population

The European Network Against the Commercialization and Privatization of Health and Social Protection calls on your local or national testimonies on the commodification of health and its negative consequences on access to health, the quality of health services, workers and health users with the aim of raising awareness among a wide audience of politicians, professionals and citizens in the context of 7 April 2020, day of action against health commercialization.

Record your testimonies with a camera, a phone,... anything that can record... and send it to sarah.melsens@gezondheid-solidariteit.be by November the 4th!

Please also send us the text of your recorded lyrics so that we can organize the subtitles as well as possible and spread your testimony all over Europe.

We’ll take care of the editing. The Spanish Mareas Blancas were the initiators of this project. You can watch a first recording made by Mareas Blancas through this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IInMGwoLYyo&t=15s

What we want from you:

- 1 video of max 2 minutes: a brief description of the health system in your country/region.

  • What is financed by the State, what is covered as benefits and what is covered by the system?

- 1 or more videos of max. 2 minutes: health marketization/commercialization mechanisms underway

  • How do neo-liberal policies in Europe and in your country affect health?
  • Choose a health commercialization mechanism and describe it, give the concrete consequences for the population.
  • Has there been a struggle against this mechanism, have there been any successful struggles?

Watch out: you can testify about several mechanisms in progress in your country/region, but record one video per mechanism (see the list of mechanisms below)

List of health commercialization mechanisms

  • Increased out-of-pocket: the part to be paid by the patient for care, medication, hospitalizations....
  • Concessions: Concessions of health (& social) services to private providers in a quasi-market For-profit/commercial companies
  • Cutting or freezing of public expenditure: Decrease or freeze of public spending on health (and social) (with an impact on wages, reimbursed benefits, investment levels, pharmaceuticals)
  • Decentralization / Regionalization
  • Private providers expansion
  • Freedom of choice: Use of mechanisms to increase users’ choices about a service provider and/or service quality. Vouchers for services (for personal care and home services). Personal budgets (especially in the field of care for people with disabilities). Introduction of special bonuses to provide better service and faster access to it
  • New management: Use of private sector/New Public Management methods (e. g. In public procurement, selection of the cheapest offer at the expense of quality, introduction of performance indicators, quality ratios, market comparison)
  • Privatization: Privatization of the public service or a public company. Formal privatization/change of legal form i.e. possibility of financing through financial markets [not with the aim of creating a "social market"]. Privatization of equipment i.e. purchase by private companies of health (and social) services (they can be multinational companies or financial investors (investment funds/capital investment) and can be achieved through private financing initiatives (PFI)). Contractual or institutional Public-Private Partnership (PPP) (e.g. for building construction, facility management, etc.)"
  • Outsourcing/Subcontracting: Subcontracting of services/GEM, in particular auxiliary services (e.g. cleaning, security, IT, catering, laboratories). Subcontracting of ancillary services to private firms. Privatization of the equipment / sale of these services to private firms"
  • Other

Impact on health care users

• Differentiation in insurance coverage / premiums
• Higher users fees / costs
• Increased patient / user choice of instrument / form of support (e.g. service voucher; personal budget; home care; sheltered housing)
• Increased patient / user choice of provider
• Waitinglists

Impact on health professionals

• Cuts in budgets / lack of investment for professional training and / or occupational health and safety
• Cuts / freezes in wages and / or staff
• Problems in social dialogue and / or lack of results in collective bargaining and collective agreements

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