Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2006-04-05-Speech-3-326"

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"Mr President, this is perhaps one of the most important debates we have had in this House. I am sorry that because of the late hour there are not more people here to listen to the appalling statistics of deaths of young children, of mothers – needless deaths from illnesses that we could cure so easily. I want to thank the Commission and my colleagues for highlighting the terrible ills that face us in the world and for trying to raise awareness of the appalling vista that lies ahead. I come from Ireland, a country from which not so long ago we were exporting nurses because there were no jobs for them. Today, sadly, we are now importing people into the health-care sector in large numbers because we have such a shortage of skills. We are not thinking about the countries we are robbing of their people, because our motives are selfish: we need to look after our own. Yet, even when we take in people from outside, we see in our accident and emergency departments, on a daily basis, people who in many respects are in Third World conditions, lying on trolleys in unacceptable conditions. So the problems are first-hand and they are all-pervasive. I was in Malawi last year. I witnessed what one of my colleagues has already spoken about: the lack of nurses – who are now in Manchester – and the appalling effects this is having in that country. It is hard to know what the answers are, but perhaps we should look at the job of the health-care workers and value what they do more than we do at the moment – in terms also of respecting and rewarding them. It was asked how we can compensate the developing world for having taken their best. There is a huge moral question about how we reject the rest, but take the best. We must not do nothing. We are moving on to a debate on avian influenza and market support measures. Heaven help us if we have a human pandemic and see how stretched our health-care services will be worldwide. I should like to read out what the World Health Organization wants us to do on Friday, the day we are talking about: ‘raise awareness of this chronic problem’ – the crisis concerning health-care workers – ‘and to build support to ensure that health workers will be working where they are needed, when they are needed, with the right skills to provide the highest attainable level of health for people everywhere’. I hope we achieve this."@en1

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