Bulletin #38: Health workers and patients demand strong primary health care

This fortnight  

Primary health care is of particular importance for achieving Health for All. Yet, when it comes to implementing health policy and funding health systems, primary health care is regularly ignored.

After years of cuts made to primary health care services in Madrid, health workers and community groups are mobilizing in support of a stronger health system. We bring an analysis of their organizing efforts and a photo gallery from their protest held on November 13, attended by hundreds of thousands of people.

Plans to centralize primary health care in Serbia are causing concern among activists and public health experts. They warn that the move will leave less room for local groups to take part in shaping health policies and will not solve the chronic lack of funding.

At the same time, workers in the United Kingdom are gearing up for industrial action to protect the National Health Service and their workplaces from further deterioration. In the United States, revolutionary health activist Mutulu Shakur has finally been granted parole after spending over 36 years in prison.

The erosion of health workers’ rights should be addressed at all levels, not only at the local level. An expert roundtable on developing international norms for the protection of health workers sketched out possibilities for action at the level of global health governance.

Access to vaccines remains an equally pressing topic at the global level. Recent research shows that equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines could have saved one million lives. This should be an important lesson in managing future outbreaks, but the vaccine rollout for the global monkeypox outbreak shows that it has not been taken as seriously as it should have been.

Madrid’s health workers and people unite in the struggle for primary health care

Following a massive protest coordinated by community groups mid-November, primary-level physicians in Madrid will embark on a strike against the deterioration of health care

Why did the global monkeypox outbreak disappear from the news?

The global monkeypox outbreak was not contained and vaccines were not adequately distributed. Instead, a handful of high-income countries dictated the health of the globe

From optimization to decentralization of healthcare

A new plan to reform health care in Serbia leaves doubts about how much optimization of rights and accessibility of care it will bring

Building international norms for protecting health workers

An expert roundtable consisting of health workers and trade unionists discussed the role of international legal norms in protecting health workers, and whether these can be improved by a new WHO instrument

Short reads

UK’s NHS workers gear up for massive action demanding fair wages

The National Health Service (NHS) and its workers, already overworked due to the COVID-19 crisis, are up in arms against austerity amid the ongoing cost of living crisis

US political prisoner Mutulu Shakur granted parole

After over 36 years in prison, movement elder, political prisoner, and revolutionary health worker Mutulu Shakur has been granted parole with less than six months to live

More equitable sharing of COVID-19 vaccines would have saved a million lives: study

It had been widely assumed that the disparity in vaccine distribution led to a loss of lives during the pandemic. But the new research has come out with an estimate of the global loss, which could be helpful in planning for future pandemics

Madrid protests for primary health care

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