Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2006-04-05-Speech-3-307"

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". Mr President, Commissioner, ladies and gentlemen, if one has the opportunity to analyse the often transitory nature or the effectiveness of these world days devoted to some great cause or other, the conclusion is that it is an opportunity for us, on the one hand, to shed some light on a dramatic situation and on the shortage of healthcare personnel in the South, an issue to which we normally pay scant attention, and on the other hand table some proposals to implement in the short, medium or long term. Hence the need to incorporate these health objectives into the framework of the multiannual financial programming, which would make it possible to increase the predictability of EU funds, which is so lacking at present, and to give more practical support to national strategies for increasing the number of healthcare personnel. One must not forget, however, that this problem that we are discussing today is not just another stroke of bad luck due to pure chance. This shortage of healthcare personnel is in fact the result of so-called ‘structural adjustment' programmes which have been brutally pursued by the international financial institutions and which have led to the collapse of public healthcare and education services in a good many countries. There is therefore ‘a fair bit’ of hypocrisy in stating in 2006 a determination to increase healthcare personnel over the next few years, while macroeconomic financial policies pursued elsewhere have had a detrimental effect on those same human resources for over ten years. Nevertheless we welcome this awareness, however late it was in arriving, of the pressing need to invest in human resources, without which no development policy, however virtuous, can be implemented. This is why, as far as we are concerned, the EU’s action in this area should be focused on three areas. Firstly, as has already been mentioned, the amount earmarked for health issues within the framework of official development aid, which currently stands at around 5%. This is woefully inadequate, and the prospects are not all that encouraging; at least 20% is needed, not least to cover salary costs for training and for all manner of issues already mentioned. Secondly, putting an end to the budgetary restriction measures imposed by the international financial institutions. In cases such as these, the EU needs to bring its influence to bear, especially as regards the salary ceiling and civil service recruitment. Lastly, a code of ethics which would help to remedy the scandal of the two-tier recruitment, in the North, in terms of status and salary. Such recruitment, which happens in a fair number of our countries, must be combated, and the country of origin principle must be scrapped. To conclude, we trust that these generous statements of intent will actually be followed up, thanks to the very firm commitment of the EU institutions and of Parliament in particular, and thanks to the campaign started by the NGOs and European civil society."@en1

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