PHM Europe: Our health is not for sale! Anti-austerity protests and exposure of TTIP

20 Feb 2014

Activists from PHM Europe participate in a two-day demonstration on 7-8 February in Brussels. The action was promoted by the European Network against the Commercialisation and Privatisation of Health, Social Work and Social Security, as the beginning of a European Campaign that will run until May 25th, date of the European elections.

The campaign was launched by presenting a Manifesto, that extensively documents the impact of economic crisis and austerity measures on health and healthcare in Europe, massively threatened by the neoliberalist drive that hides behind the 'TINA' ('There is no alternative') argument that the crisis offers to bureaucrats and politicians. And, of course, to the advantage of those who profit from privatization (namely, transnational corporations including Big Pharma, insurance companies, and the banks).

The Manifesto also exposes the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) as the Trojan horse through which the so-called 'non tariff barriers to trade' can be brought down in Europe: these may include public healthcare and social protection, as well as regulations that limit dangerous substances in food and beverages (from GMOs to sugar and fats), and much more.

The Manifesto was handed to the Belgian Prime Minister as well as to 11 European ambassadors who were asked to pass it on their respective governments. The delegations then met in front of UNESCO’s headquarters in Brussels where a demand was made for egalitarian health care and social security, available to all, to be recognised as part of the common heritage of humanity. UNESCO has acknowledged this demand with an email. A delegation of the Network, representing 8 member states, was also received by members of the European Commission representing three DGs (Health and Consumers, Employment Social Affairs and Inclusion, Internal Market and Services), who were asked to respond to the demands of the Manifesto.

The afternoon of 7 February and the morning of the following day saw these initiatives consolidated during the Sixth European Conference of associations, unions and civil society groups in defence of health, social work and social security, with the participation of activists from Portugal, Greece, Spain, Italy, Great Britain, Poland, Belgium, France, Germany the Netherlands, Ireland and Slovenia.

A decision was taken to officially launch a week of action from 2 to 8 April, with the key moment on 7 April: World Health Day. Citizens, associations, unions, political parties, and national and regional joint initiatives defending health and healthcare are invited to mobilise together.

We must all learn from the victories of the Spanish ‘White Tide’ (marea blanca) which defeated plans to privatise six hospitals in Madrid: victory is possible in the face of the rapacious appetites of multinationals, pharmaceuticals companies and health insurances giants if we all fight together.

CLICK HERE for the Campaign Press Release in ENGLISH

CLICK HERE for the Campaign Press Releast in FRENCH

CLICK HERE for the Campaign Manifesto in FRENCH

CLICK HERE for the Campaig Manifesto in SPANISH



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