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Pandemic, austerity, privatisation and the urgency of an honest debate on health care policy

EU Watchdog Radio: Episode 16

In this first new episode of 2021, we dive into the topic that is unfortunately still on everyone's mind each and every day: the raging pandemic. Our main focus is why were /are health care systems in many countries under such pressure when dealing with Covid-19?  From hospitals to care homes, the outsourcing and privatisation of healthcare , in combination with various EU austerity policies, have significantly degraded EU member states’ capacity to deal effectively with COVID-19, costing extra lives. And unfortunately this quite unhealthy tendency has been going on all over the world, hitting the poorest hardest.

First, Olivier Hoedeman, researcher at Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO), talks about the recent research-report “When the market becomes deadly: How pressures towards privatisation of health and long-term care put Europe on a poor footing for a pandemic” . Our second guest is Aurore Guieu, researcher and campaigner at Oxfam Belgium. Oxfam has recently published a new report on the growing inequality called “The Inequality Virus”, showing that inequality is literally as deadly as covid-19.

Third guest is Leigh Haynes a PhD researcher in political science at Ghent University where her work focuses the influence social movements can have on health policy. Originally from Texas in the US), Leigh is also a health activist with  the People's Health Movement, advocating and organizing for the right to health around the world. She is involved in a European Citizen Initiative (ECI), called ‘No Profit on Pandemic’,  seeking 1 million signatures by the end of the year.

Both CEO and Counter Balance raise awareness on the importance of good governance in the European Union, by researching issues like lobbying of large and powerful industries, corporate capture of decision making, corruption, fraud, human rights violations in areas like agro-business, biotech & chemical companies, the financial sector & public investment banks, trade, energy & climate, scientific research and much more...

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