Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2006-04-05-Speech-3-309"

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". Mr President, in the EU we have an expanding need for well-trained committed doctors, nurses, therapists and technicians. Population-ageing, increases in the incidence of disease and increases in the treatments for them mean a greater demand for workers in the health sector. But we should not just consider our need for healthcare, but the needs of those who deliver it. Their first need is to be safe. We must do everything to protect them from diseases and accidents, especially needle-stick and exposure injuries. It is almost a tradition to overwork doctors and nurses, but tired, stressed staff are far more prone to dangers. Vaccines have a part to play in protecting healthcare workers, but we must, in mandating immunisations for our healthcare workers, acknowledge and compensate those who have suffered debilitating adverse reactions. In Ireland we have seriously restricted, and still restrict, the number of young Irish people who train for medicine, nursing, pharmacology and the therapies. When we – as we inevitably do – experience shortfalls in services, we solve the problem by hiring people from other countries. We can now afford to do this and these excellent professionals are a boost to our health service. Our hospitals and our health services are staffed by health workers from India, the Philippines, South Africa and many other countries. I have been told by some of them that they see working in an EU country as a great opportunity, but I wonder if we ever give a thought to those left behind, especially to the sick. Healthcare migration is certainly to our benefit, but as lives are saved in developed countries, they are lost in less developed countries. A Zambian Government official described to me the difficulty Zambia has in retaining doctors. Its government sends promising students to the EU to train, but once the training is complete they either do not return or when they do they find that their highly technical training relates very poorly to work in settings with little equipment and few drugs. They leave in frustration. We must address this problem urgently. This brings me to my last point. I would like to ask what competence Members think we have to condemn another sovereign nation because its country refuses to fund projects it disagrees with. I am referring to the US-Mexico City policy of requiring that NGOs agree, as a condition of receiving US funds, that they should neither perform nor promote abortion as a method of family planning in other nations. In condemning the way the US is spending its foreign aid, Amendment 5 presumes a mandate that this House and this Union simply do not have."@en1

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