(10 May 2021) The trade unions (EPSU and PSI) and civil society organisations were consulted on our demands for the G20 Health Summit which will take place 21 May. The outcome of this consultation is now available and will be submitted to the government leaders. Ideally it should be taken into account.
The document is a progressive statement of how health should be dealt with at national, regional and global level. It notes that COVID-19 has exposed the devastating impact of years of chronic underfunding of health systems. Responding to pandemics should be anchored into building health systems capacity and strengthening available structures to create long-term system resilience. Failure to invest in HSS not only risks squandering past significant gains in health – including for HIV, tuberculosis and malaria, and it leaves systems less equipped to respond to future pandemics.
It draws attention to workers. The protection and scale-up of essential health services will also require an urgent focus on building a strong health workforce as the backbone of quality health systems, also through increased funding to education. Addressing the 80 million frontline health worker gap requires investing in capacity building, infrastructure and fair remuneration for paid and unpaid community health workers, including women. The position calls for a need to revise the global financial architecture and address tax avoidance. Its is critical of trade agreements, proposes debt relief and recognizes health as a public good. Unions and civil society are demanding the use of TRIPS waivers for emergency vaccines and treatments. And more than principles, we need a Roadmap to implement commitments.