Bulletin #23: Austerity lurking around the corner
A general rollback of policies introduced to provide support and security for people during the pandemic is well underway. In South Africa, health workers employed during Covid-19 are predominately not seeing their contracts renewed. The austerity-based pandemic recovery that the government has in sight has already led to strikes and protests in several provinces.
A reform of the public health system in Greece threatens to open new doors for the private sector and leave behind patients and health workers. The government’s plan has encountered resistance by many, including health workers, who believe the health system should remain in public hands and concentrate on people’s needs.
Choices that governments are currently making in regards to public health systems should not be attributed to them alone. International finance institutions, notably the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, continue to favor investment in private healthcare over strengthening public systems. During the World Bank Group Civil Society Forum this month, some organizations called them out for the consequences this will lead to.
While Covid-19 seems to have fallen off the agenda of many policy makers, people around the world continue to suffer its consequences. A report by the Poor People’s Campaign illustrates the effects the pandemic has had on those living in the poorest counties in the United States. Meanwhile, the São Paulo State Public Defender's Office has issued a report on living conditions in the state’s prisons during the pandemic.
In Catalonia, health activists are building a wide coalition for universal public health care. We met with two members of the coalition to discuss their campaign around 7 April, World Health Day, and the aims the platform has set itself.
Data speaks brings an update on the persisting inequities in access to Covid-19 medical products, as rich countries continue to block the TRIPS waiver proposal.
Health workers in South Africa protest as post-pandemic austerity looms
Workers in health institutions in several provinces of South Africa have organized protests and industrial action as they face threats of job loss and reorganization of services
A “New NHS” or another way to degrade public health in Greece?
In Greece, a reform of the public health system that benefits the private sector has been met with resistance from health workers and progressive groups
COVID-19: the poor people’s pandemic
The Poor People’s Pandemic Report takes a hard look at the intersections between COVID-19, poverty and race in the United States
Civil society organizations criticize World Bank Group for privatization of healthcare
A coalition of organizations fighting for public healthcare services called out the World Bank Group for focusing on investments in private healthcare during the Civil Society Policy Forum
Overcrowding, shortage of doctors and lack of water: living through the pandemic in São Paulo’s prisons
A report released on April 1 by the Public Defender of São Paulo attests worsening of rights violations in prisons
Video: Building a Campaign for What Health Should Be
In a new issue of People's Health Dispatch, we met with Francesc Alvarez and Oriol Josa from the Catalan platform Salut, Drets, Accio (Health, Rights, Action)