The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the deadly consequences of decades of reducing, privatizing and outsourcing public health services. Health workers putting their lives on the line every day to protect us all face overwhelming shortages of personnel, protective equipment, essential supplies and medical facilities. On the occasion of International Nurses Day, May 12, our sister international federation PSI is calling for unions internationally to endorse the call for universal health care with a petition on their site.
Access to health care is a universal human right which cannot depend on one’s ability to pay: “We can no longer tolerate the perverse practice of extracting profits from ill-health.” The IUF strongly endorses PSI’s call for:
- Governments to work with nurses and their unions to develop public health reconstruction plans
- Governments to remove all obstacles, including intellectual property rules, in existing trade agreements and rules that hinder timely and affordable access to medical supplies, such as lifesaving medicines, devices, diagnostics and vaccines, and the ability of governments to take whatever steps are necessary to address this crisis
- All governments to support the proposal by the Government of Costa Rica to develop a global COVID-19 commons for all research, data, technology, treatments and vaccines relating to COVID-19 as a non-proprietary shared global resource
- The World Bank to stop providing funds for public health to the private health industry and for the International Finance Corporation to stop promoting health privatisation which includes the flawed model of Public Private Partnerships
- The IMF to cease directing governments to cut public spending and public sector wages