PHM Europe: spread solidarity, not the virus

16 March 2020: Invest in health for all: spread solidarity, not the virus

Versions in French, Spanish, German, Dutch, Italian here:

Today, more than ever, it is urgent to act. The COVID-19 outbreak shows us the importance of coordinated action, not only in our own local health systems, but also nationally and internationally. What we need now is a strong solidarity-based health system for all and coordination that surpasses national borders, with effective action on a European and a global level.

Ensuring public health means that we make sure that the most vulnerable of us can also access all health measures to be taken. Uneven distribution of resources is compromising our ability to control the virus and is leading us to unnecessary suffering and death today and tomorrow.

This crisis is only the tip of the iceberg. For several years, the health systems of European Member States have undergone strong attacks from privatization, commercialization, underfunding and regionalization, imposed by the European Union through austerity measures on health spending. This has affected health systems’ ability to coordinate large-scale preventive campaigns and has limited their capacity to expand curative services in crisis situations while eroding the broad public’s confidence in the health system as a whole.

For these reasons the European Network*, People’s Health Movement, EPSU*, Alter Summit and Medact urge our local, national, European and global policymakers to undertake immediate action to protect our public health.

The crisis we are witnessing today illustrates what we are fighting for every 7th April, the European Day of action Against the Commercialization of Health and Social Protection and People’s Health Day: a strong, solidarity-based health system accessible for all. Now, more than ever, we call for the immediate mobilisation of resources!

Today, as on the 7th of April and after, whether it will be on the streets, in our hospitals, through social media, or in the press, we urge our decision-makers to ensure that our health system and our health workers are capable of answering the needs of the population through a strong universal public health system that will be protected from protected from lucrative logics and the appetites of commercial companies.

On 7 April, for the 5th year in a row, we organize decentralized actions all over Europe for the European Day of Action Against the Commercialization of Health and People’s Health Day throughout the world.

We have decided to cancel all physical gatherings and actions. We call upon all citizens to show your support to “spread solidarity, not the virus” with a white sheet action, on the 7th of April:

  1. Write your message on a white sheet and hang it in a visible place
  2. Take pictures of it
  3. Share your pictures on social media with the hashtag #health4all

The European Network against the commercialization and privatization of health and social protection –, People’s Health Movement Europe –, European Public Service Union (EPSU, Alter Summit –, Medact Contact: Sarah Melsens, Coordinator European Network against the commercialization and privatization of health and social protection, P. +32499 42 44 48 –

Read the long version of the statement: en_long_version_16.03.2020