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Commercialization is seriously harming our health

D 2 April 2020    


03.04.2020 - Commercialization is seriously harming our health

The reduction or freezing of public spending on health has an impact on investments, on reimbursed benefits, on salaries in the form of elimination of beds, activity-based financing, the closure of hospitals and public care services...among many other things. This has made it impossible for public authorities to invest in infrastructure and health systems and has allowed private investment to be deployed massively in the sector.

Commercial operators, international groups such as Fresenius, ORPEA, Korian, Coliseum or Ramsay, buy institutions, services, branches of activity and impose their laws on the whole sector.

Whether we are talking about the "silver economy" for the elderly sector or the juicy private insurance market for hospitalisation, medical research, the pharmaceutical industry, it is a question of profitability for the shareholders, much more than a question of public health.

Lack of protective equipment, disorganization of health systems, crumbling research, shortage of medicines... the crisis we are experiencing today shows us the flaws in this system and why it is urgent to change course.

Can private, for-profit hospitals meet the challenges of COVID-19? They only intervene in a second phase, when public and non-profit hospitals have exhausted all their material and human resources.

Private insurance companies do not protect against the coronavirus and will not give priority to those who will need a bed in intensive care. And tomorrow, they will be bankrupt because they will have had to pay for a risk that has suddenly become real!

The European Network against the Privatization and Commercialization of Health and Social Protection, the People’s Health Movement (PHM) and many other European networks reaffirm that only a state-controlled system, based on public or solidarity-based funding, with public or non-market operators, is strong enough and truly effective enough to protect the population from the hazards of life and to allow universal access to health care.

The European Union and each Member State must take up their responsibilities.

We call on Europe to review its directives on services and public procurement, as well as the budgetary constraints imposed on states through its budgetary standards.

We demand from each national government that it refinance its solidarity-based social protection system and exclude it from the laws of the market.

On 7 April, World Health Day, decentralised actions are being organised throughout Europe.

For the fifth consecutive year, the European Network and PHM calls on citizens, health workers, associations, etc. to come together on the Day of Action against the Commercialization of Health.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic we have cancelled all gatherings and actions with physical contact.

We therefore call on every citizen to demonstrate their support by "spreading solidarity, not the virus".

How? With a "white sheet" action on April 7:

1. Hang your messages on a white sheet in a visible place or make a poster at home

2. Take a picture/video of yourself with your messages

3. Share them

  • on social networks with the hashtag #health4all and tag your policy makers
  • on the interactive map here
    (How? Follow the link of the interactive map - write the address of your location - click on "add to map" - add an image or video)

The European Network against the Privatization and Commercialization of Health and Social Protection - - P. +32499 42 44 48 -

People’s Health Movement Europe - -


May 2024 :

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