Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2006-04-05-Speech-3-314"

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"Mr President, Commissioner, ladies and gentlemen, the motto of World Health Day is ‘Working together for health’; yet, unfortunately, not much of this cooperation remains. Cooperation primarily means ‘brain drain’. We have heard dramatic, affecting figures today; figures that should make us feel ashamed, as they make it clear that Europe is faced with a crisis in the health sector that it is not tackling at the roots – here in Europe – but is trying to solve by means of the brain drain from these countries. The main health issue in Europe is the fight against lifestyle-related diseases, which are attributable to nutritional and environmental factors; whereas the situation in developing countries is that people are dying of diseases that are actually curable, for example in childbirth – women are developing fistulas as a result of giving birth – or that, as has just been reiterated, there is quite simply a lack of paediatric vaccines and the most essential measures are not being taken. At the same time, we know that demographic developments will only intensify the problem. As a result of our ageing society, there is a lack of people going into the caring professions. That is why I also believe that the EU needs to show foresight in taking action at long last to counter this dramatic development. The financial resources have already been mentioned. We have spoken a good deal about African countries today, but I have the impression that, particularly in development policy, resources are being poured into other countries. We have heard today that the Commission does not have a strategy – the example of the green card has just been given again. The Commissioner has presented us with fine words today, but her colleagues in other fields of competence often do the opposite or pursue policies that support this very development instead of tackling it and contributing towards a solution. The Commission has also been silent on the subject of the disputes over patents for AIDS drugs in Africa. The EU should have been vocal in condemning pharmaceutical giants who look on as people die an agonising death as a result of patents. I hope that the Commissioner’s words are followed by action. What we need is not fine words because World Health Day is approaching, but a strategy, a real solution to the problem. I hope that we have made a start here this evening and that this has been a new departure. After all, we were all in agreement on the objective: that what we need is real action to tackle the problem."@en1

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