Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2006-04-05-Speech-3-324"

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"Mr President, the theme of World Health Day, which takes place the day after tomorrow, is employees in the healthcare sector. This year’s subject is very pertinent, since we are facing the threat of a worldwide pandemic. The problems associated with availability of healthcare staff and working conditions affect both the developing and the industrialised countries. Focusing attention on the status of healthcare staff is the right way to get to grips with the causes of health problems and to try and prevent them. Investing in preventive work is always the best option as far as both people and the economy are concerned. It makes sense to invest resources in everyday structures that support people’s health, and not just in corrective work. We need the political will to recognise the needs of healthcare staff and address them. Educated doctors and nurses save human lives. Unless their professional skills are appreciated and given support, the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, for example, will not be achieved. That appreciation must also be reflected in pay and working conditions. The skills of healthcare personnel staff are being especially put to the test with new threats to health such as bird flu. Healthcare professionals must in all circumstances be sure that their working conditions are not needlessly exposed to infection. A possible global pandemic would also mean that staff would be confronted with difficult ethical questions. Even though it may be a basic premise that everyone is vaccinated and receives the drugs they need, there may come a situation where, for example, part of a vaccination batch is missing. Questions of healthcare prioritisation call for fundamental ethical debate as a basis on which to work. With the threat of pandemics, the developing countries are in a particularly difficult situation, as malaria and HIV are already causing untold havoc. I strongly agree with the calls in the resolution to improve the focus for development cooperation so that it is used for human and social development."@en1

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