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Press conference European Action week “Invest in health now!”

D 26 October 2020    


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Press conference European Action week “Invest in health now!” Tuesday 27 October 2020 10.00 AM Residence palace, Rue de la Loi 175, 1048 Bruxelles

This week the European Public Services Union (EPSU) is organising an European week of action in support of health workers. Amnesty International, the European Network against the Privatization and Commercialization of Health and Social Protection (EN) together with the People’s Health Movement (PHM) Europe are joining this call for action.They are asking for governments around Europe to recognize the contribution of health and other essential workers during the Covid19 pandemic, but also in standard times, and to support them by securing enough resources for their work.

Specifically, the European Network and PHM Europe call on governments across Europe to immediately put a stop to austerity measures that have weakened our health systems, halt commercialisering of health, and turn towards models based on deprivatisation, remunicipalisation, and fostering of people’s participation in social protection systems. The Covid 19 crisis has once more shown us we need to invest in public health care and have a solidarity based health and care system with access for all.

In this light all the above mentioned organisations will be holding a joint press conference tomorrow at the residence palace at Brussels at 10.00 am. Journalists who wish to attend this event, please contact Pablo Sanchez from EPSU ( 0032 474 626633 (Whatsapp/Telegram)). Alternatively the press conference will be streamed live as well starting from 10:30 at the following page: https://www.facebook.com/events/275564430371910

The full description of the action can be found here: https://epsu.org/article/european-health-action-week-fighting-health-and-care-beyond-pandemic

Please find here the joint press statement by the EN and PHM Europe (in English, French, Spanisch, Dutch) https://docs.google.com/document/d/1jD_U-x5fAVkNcI-uKfLF-msc_B3rHGUZVIKgaMXtCpE/edit?usp=sharing

27.10.2020 - JOINT PRESS STATEMENT Of PHM Europe and the European Network

European Health Action Week 26-30 October 2020
“Invest in Health now!”

Universal health care systems, based on public funding and organised around values of solidarity and care, are the only kind of health systems able to protect and promote public health. Such health systems can only work in a sustainable way if the health and wellbeing of health and other essential workers are taken into account.

Standing united with the trade unions mobilising this week for the recognition of health workers’ contributions to protecting the human right to health - during the Covid19 pandemic but equally beyond - the European Network against the Privatization and Commercialization of Health and Social Protection (EN) and the People’s Health Movement (PHM) Europe call national and European governments to keep the promises made during the pandemic to healthcare and social services workers, including increase of salary,the right to just and favorable conditions of work, and the right to freedom of expression.

While chasing the idea of never-ending growth during the last years, governments across Europe have insisted on cutting public spending, particularly in the area of social protection and health.Their choices have concurrently led to the shortage of staff and pushes towards marketization, putting profitability ahead of public interest, undermining the working conditions of the workers, as well as the living conditions of the people relying on these systems.

Insisting on cost-reductions and instilling profit-driven models in our social protection systems has led to rising inequities in access and quality of care. The spread of Covid19 has shown that such a model is unsustainable, and that a re-orientation towards values of solidarity and public interest is necessary to guarantee the fulfillment of basic human rights for everyone. Until that happens, carers and other essential workers remain exposed to serious risks to their health, while also being poorly paid.

Trade unions, scientists and social movements alike have been warning about the dangers of commercialisation of health for years, and the disregard of such warnings has led Europe to face the Covid19 pandemic unprepared.Therefore we join the demands of the European Public Services Union (EPSU), International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), and other international federations and call on governments across Europe to immediately put a stop to austerity measures that have weakened our health systems, halt commercialisering of health, and turn towards models based on deprivatisation, remunicipalisation, and fostering of people’s participation in social protection systems. The Covid 19 crisis has once more shown us we need to invest in public health care and have a solidarity based health and care system with access for all.

To come out of the pandemic a better society, our health systems and our health workers need support today. The support they need cannot be in the form of empty promises and one-off Covid19 bonuses. It should focus on increasing workers’ rights in the health and care sectors for a long run, and ensure that education and training of new workers is provided. This can only be achieved if healthcare budgets are increased on all levels of government, and people’s health - including the health of workers - is made a priority on the EU and national governments’ agenda.

Our health and social protection systems can only be as confident as the workers on whom they depend are. We share the requests asserted by health workers during the week of action 26-30 October, and invite everyone to back them during and after the Covid19 pandemic.The European Network and PHM calls on citizens, health workers, associations, etc. to come together and support the week of action participating in EPSU’s social media campaign:

1. Take a picture of yourself with your messages
2. Share them on social networks with the hashtag
#jointhefightback #ourhealthisnotforsale #EU4health4all and tag your policy makers
3. Share them with EPSU (Pablo Sanchez 0032 474 626633 (Whatsapp/Telegram) or cboeckx@epsu.org Find the logos and images for social media and actions on the EPSU website.

The European Network against the Privatization and
Commercialization of Health and Social Protection
http://europe-health-network.net
europeanhealthnetwork@gmail.com
+32499 42 44 48

People’s Health Movement Europe
https://phmovement.org/
ana@phmovement.org
+38591 574 4567

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