Europe/Health service

Statement from the European Conference for the defence of a public health service

, by Collective

On the initiative of the Free trade union “August 80” of Poland, trade-union, community and political activists, involved in defence of the health service of six European countries, Poland, France, Great Britain, Ireland, Germany and Sweden, met in Amsterdam May 7th and 8th, 2011.

We noted the simultaneity of the attacks against people’s rights to health and against the healthcare systems through increasing privatisation and marketisation of healthcare and social protection.

A brutal acceleration of these attacks has occurred with the introduction of austerity policies everywhere in Europe.

The defence of the right to health and social protection requires a mobilisation of the whole population, beyond that of health professionals. This is why it is urgent to build in each country the broadest framework, bringing together local people, trade unionists, local and political activists against the policies of privatisation, corruption in healthcare and the new austerities which capitalism is trying to impose.

The Conference recommends for discussion by all interested organizations the need to build the European coordination of such a framework around the demands:

1. Universal access to all to the health care system, to all forms of health care and social protection;

2. Comprehensive medical care, free at the point of use without restriction;

3. Democracy in healthcare with public control over planning for population health needs;

4. Healthcare based on public and collective funding, because health must not be a source of profit.

This preliminary statement could be extended by broadening this network to a larger number of European countries and to all the organisations which share this point of view.

A new Conference could take place, within this framework, in November 2011, in Poland.

The Amsterdam Conference May 8th, 2011


See also on ESSF the following report and contribution:

Jan Malewsky, European conference for the defence of a public health service

John Lister, An update on the British government’s piecemeal privatisation of healthcare