PES: COVID crisis confirms the need for affordable and quality healthcare for all

30/06/2020

Health worker

Guaranteeing universal access to affordable and quality healthcare must be a priority for the EU, Europe’s socialist and democratic political family said as it adopted a healthcare declaration at a meeting of the PES Presidency.

The declaration highlights that the COVID-19 crisis has exposed the negative consequences of austerity and the current deficiencies and limitations of public health- and care-systems across our Member States. These systems must be strengthened and modernised through investment in the workforce and infrastructure, and through better health policy coordination at EU level.

PES President Sergei Stanishev said:

“Our political family has always understood that good healthcare, assessible to all, is the cornerstone of a civilised society. We fought to establish strong and efficient national and regional health systems in the first place. The COVID-19 crisis has shown that we must renew our efforts. We must continue to be bold to deliver progressive answers to citizens’ health concerns. We must work to achieve affordable and quality healthcare for all. This is how we build a social Europe for everyone.

“Universality and affordability will only be assured through strong and well-funded public health and care institutions, which invest in training and the wellbeing of doctors, nurses and all others working in healthcare. These services, and the people who provide them, are the backbone of our welfare states. They are what saved Europe from catastrophe at the hands of COVID-19. They deserve our gratitude, but more than this they deserve a solid commitment to their future. That is what socialists and democrats are pushing for.”

The declaration adopted by the PES Presidency - Affordable and quality healthcare for all – sets out progressive proposals for healthcare.

At the meeting, the Presidency also adopted declarations on the PES strategy to contain and recover from the COVID-19 crisis and the fight against racism, xenophobia and discrimination.