Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2006-04-05-Speech-3-318"

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"Mr President, Commissioner, the right to health is a universal value. Extraordinary progress has been made over the past 50 years. At the same time, however, costs have not stopped rising, yet we have a great deal of trouble admitting that prevention costs much less than cure. We are experiencing an actual health crisis due to a lack of foresight and in particular due to a purely accounts-based approach to health policy. The right to health is a universal value, as I said. It is not only Europe that is affected; the entire world is, too, with developing countries the hardest hit. The consequence of the well-documented shortage in the training of medical staff – doctors, nurses, and so forth – in the EU is that Member States turn to doctors from developing countries, thereby exacerbating the shortage in those countries. I should like to make three main points. Firstly, it is necessary to train health workers in developing countries and to channel every effort into ensuring that they stay. For this to happen, there needs to be better planning of medical systems in Europe and the United States. Secondly, over several decades there have been some terrible pandemics in the world. Developing countries are the most vulnerable because they have neither the resources for information and awareness raising, nor sufficient medicines to stem diseases such as AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. This is purely down to a lack of personnel. Thirdly, I would have liked our resolution to be more precise on certain key points, for example the availability of medicines. Here too, in my view, the lack of personnel is crucial in that no one is there to act as a focal point. I therefore welcome the measures taken by some European businesses, which, in a show of solidarity with the people of these countries, distribute essential medicines or vaccines. Given that we are aware of the difficulty of carrying out such distribution in countries where there is a shortage of infrastructure and qualified personnel and where there is sometimes a complete lack of political will, the inescapable conclusion is that the EU must do all it can to support these measures and in fact must go further. Sadly, the Commission’s proposals are woefully inadequate, and things are not about to improve on the back of the famous agreement on the financial perspective. Who is bearing the brunt of this? The most serious aspect of this is that the main victims of our shortcomings are vulnerable people, including women and children."@en1
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