Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2006-04-05-Speech-3-323"

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"Mr President, Commissioner, ladies and gentlemen, this year, World Health Day is devoted to health workers. There are 35 million health workers worldwide, approximately 4 million of whom are in Germany, and well in excess of 12 million in the EU. These figures alone show that the South of our planet has far from satisfactory provision. There is a clear divide between the developed and the developing world as regards people’s chances of receiving health-care services. In the short term, it would be entirely appropriate to provide twice or several times as many resources as emergency assistance. What is indispensable, however, is an increase in human resources – in both Europe and the developing world. Given the short time available, I should like to discuss just the conditions in Europe. The previous speakers have already commented on the developing world, and they have my full support. I should like to select four European issues. Firstly, the ageing of our society brings with it new challenges, new illnesses, new treatment procedures and a growing need for nursing and care that we are already losing the ability to fully cover. Secondly, an improvement in the skills and quality of the health professions in Europe is needed if we are to meet the excellence criteria we set ourselves. A dramatic increase in the training figures in all fields of the health service is needed if we are to meet these demands. Thirdly, we need to enhance our cooperation within the Union. Although health policy plays a subordinate role, positive intervention is called for on our part. Health policy must not be reduced to monetary aspects – even if these words are sure to make the ears of my colleagues in Berlin burn. Fourthly, we need to preserve the health of health workers by means of reasonable working hours and workloads and reduce cases of exhaustion. In this connection, I would appeal to the Commission to adopt Parliament’s position on the Working Time Directive."@en1

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