There is more than enough wealth in the world for everyone to have quality public healthcare.
It has been more than 70 years since the World Health Organization declared “the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being.” Over 150 countries now include the right to health in their constitutions.
Yet today, health outcomes are dependent largely on socio-economic class.
Governments are massively under-investing. The myth that we cannot afford more health funding has driven cuts, the introduction of user fees and other forms of marketization which widen health inequities. The concept of 'access' to health services is replacing the push for universal provision. Public hospitals are understaffed, and many of the frontline health workers work long hours and are severely underpaid.
Corporate expansion in the health sector is putting the interests of profit-making ahead of people, undermining the commitment to health for all. Public-Private-Partnerships and privatised services bleed money into corporate coffers. Large health multinationals lobby governments while Big-Pharma manipulates trade and intellectual property rules to protect their monopoly profits.
More than 150 million people are thrown below the poverty line annually due to out of pocket health expenses
Private healthcare is neither cheaper nor more efficient than public provision.
Budgetary cuts and the pursuit of profits leads to a reduced number of health and social workers, and exclusionary user-fee models. Without stronger public engagement, the SDG target 3.8 for universal health coverage will not be achieved.
Some of the myths which drive the pro-profit approach claim the private sector increases efficiency. Yet evidence consistently shows that, in the health sector, administrative costs and inefficiencies rise as a tangled web of insurers, health providers and pharmaceutical companies attempt to extract profits from the system.
Many of the corporations engaged are among the worst violators of trade union and labour rights. They do everything possible to frustrate the right of health workers to organise and collective bargaining.
Private health corporations generate over $5 trillion USD in annual revenue, with many siphoning profits into offshore tax-havens.
Health and social workers are the backbone of care delivery. Yet the ILO recently projected a global shortfall of over 18 million health workers by 2030. We need our governments to urgently increase public employment in the health sector and ensure quality working conditions to attract more young people to these professions. In particular, we need more public health funding for developing countries to ensure that well-trained medical professionals are incentivized to stay and improve their health systems.
Without resilient health systems, the effects of disasters and epidemics are exacerbated, leading to further deaths and devastation. Our ability to respond to crises such as the Ebola outbreak is compromised, particularly in fragile health systems. Furthermore, delivering health care in war zones place significant risks on the lives of frontline responders. In the first half of 2018 alone, 271 health workers were killed. The heroic efforts of health workers saving lives during wars and disasters needs to be recognized and valued.
Public Services International is the key player at the global level, fighting for the rights of health workers and for public healthcare for all.
On #WorldHealthDay, Baba Aye gives the lowdown on why healthcare needs to be public - not privatised! More here: https://goo.gl/qf4qKQ #Health4All #OurHealthIsNot4Sale #UniversalPublicHealthCare #HealthForAll #PublicHealthcare
Public Healthcare: BETTER, CHEAPER, FAIRER, STRONGER
Poverty exacerbates health problems
The greatest predictor of health outcomes is socio-economic class. Addressing the social determinants of health by ensuring everyone has access to clean air, safe water and sanition and other essential public services is a key step to realizing the right to health.
Workers must lead the campaign for the right to health at the grassroots and ensure improvement in employment and working conditions of health and social workers.
PSI works with national unions to build movements bringing together communities, patients forums and civil society organisations together to demand the realisation of the right to health.
PSI represents over 14 million health workers in 700 health and social sector unions across the world.
PSI pushes international institutions to promote concrete steps that guarantee the social protection of every human being by providing quality universal public health care and addressing the social, economic and cultural determinants of health.
We are convinced that universal health care is not a dream.
We know there is more than enough wealth in the world to achieve it.
We will struggle together to create the political will to win health for all.
Uniting Unions to fight for Public Health For All
PSI unites health and social workers across the world, campaigning for universal health care and improved health employment and working conditions. We provide much needed research and help build political power of trade unions, social movements and communities to win better public healthcare.
We support health worker organising
We equip affiliates to expand their membership and share organising strategies.
We convert health research to policy
We make cutting-edge research available for policy advocacy, advancing our argument with clear evidence against policies that prioritise profit over the health of people.
We campaign for health as a fundamental right
We fight against the commodification and marketization of health, forging alliances with social movements internationally and within countries to build the political influence needed to win quality public healthcare for all
We represent workers at the WHO
We are the only trade union voice with an official status at the World Health Organization, where we advocate for improved health employment and working conditions.
We support global health solidarity
We run solidarity campaigns for health workers facing persecution. These efforts recently led to the reinstatement of health workers on the frontline of the Ebola crisis in Liberia.
We fight for more health jobs
PSI represented workers on the United Nations High-Level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth in 2016. We regularly fight for the rights of health workers in other international decision-making forums such as the ILO and OECD.
Dr Younous Mahadjir
For workers "There is a total symbiosis between my work as a unionist and my work as a doctor. It is all about helping people in need."
During the dictatorship of Hissene Habre in Chad, Younous fought for trade union rights for hospital workers. He was persecuted, dismissed from his role, imprisoned and tortured. Since the fall of the regime, Younous has helped send Habre to prison, and keeps up the struggle for trade union rights and healthcare for all in Chad
After helping send Chad’s former dictator to prison, Younous keeps up the struggle for trade union rights and healthcare for all in one of Africa’s most repressive regimes.
Join the PSI Health and Social Sector Network on Facebook
A social media platform for PSI and HSS affiliates to share information, exchange ideas, learn from our different experiences and call for actionJoin the group here!
Want to fight Health privatisation and PPPs in your community?
Check out some of our research on the negative effects of privatization to arm yourselves with the arguments needed to win.
Are you in a health workers' union that isn't affiliated to PSI?
Join our movement, let's organise together.
Do you want to join our #RightToHealth campaign?
Help us build the political will for change - check out our campaign page for more information.
Would you like regular updates on health worker struggles?
Subscribe to the Right to Health newsletter.
Want to build a campaign against health privatisation?
Check out our People Over Profit Platform.