Last May, the European Commission announced the start of work on the development of the European Union’S new global strategy. As part of this, a public consultation process was launched on the future EU Global Health Strategy. Over the last three months, information and opinions have been gathered from all stakeholders in the process: citizen, companies and civil society organisations.
The purpose pursued by the European Commission is to prepare an external health strategy that responds to the changes that have occurred in global health and geopolitics in recent years, bolstering European leadership in this area. According to the Commission, over the last decade, more than ever, we have come to understand the many interrelated factors that affect health – climate change, pandemics, inequalities, gender, nutrition, mental health, etc. – and the need to tackle them with a focus based on human rights and equality of access to healthcare.
Here at Salud por Derecho we have participated in this process and we have submitted our recommendations.
Firstly, above all, the strategy must prioritise the interests and the needs of people and the strengthening of healthcare systems, which must be the absolute centre of transversal European policies that respond to healthcare in all dimensions, including migrant population groups.
Consequently, global health research and development must also be focused on people’s needs, and we need a new R&D model in which the results of that R&D are at reach for everyone, with accessible prices, transparency and intellectual property shared and not protected by monopolies facilitated through patents with global production capacity and TRIPS flexibilities.
Furthermore, the pandemic prevention, preparation and response must be considered a continued and integrated action and the new Pandemic Treaty being negotiated by the WHO should cover provisions on responsible access, education and the use of antimicrobial agents and the exchange of information and resources so that healthcare systems are better equipped to manage cross-border health threats.
The EU must also accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals, which has been slow up until now, especially in the case of two of them: the goal of Universal Health Cover and ending HIV/AIDS as a public health problem by 2030, reaffirming support for the Global Fund and integrating the focus on HIV into the necessary bolstering of healthcare systems.
Our proposal also includes climate change as a determining factor in global health. Pollution, high temperatures, water quality and scarcity, climate migration, among other factors, all have a direct impact on people’s health. Therefore, the strategy must ensure compliance with the Paris Agreements, as well as policies and budgets to cushion the impact of rising temperatures, reduce emissions and control global warming, decarbonising the economy and ensuring sustainable ecosystems.
You can see the full submissions to the consultation process here.
Foto: Europa Press