(17 September 2020) On Friday September 11th EPSU, the European Public Service Unions, together with AGE (AGE Platform Europe) and EDF (European Disability Forum) organised a round table on the impact of Covid-19 in Long term care facilities.
The event, 'Round table on Covid-19 and the challenges ahead for long term care facilities' included interventions from three members of the European Parliament: Radka Maxova (RENEW, Czech Republic), Pierfrancesco Majorino (S&D, Italy) and Anne-Sophie Pelletier (GUE/NGL, France). All three are active in the Disability and Poverty intergroup, and also in the group of MEPs that worked in the medical profession before becoming elected representatives at European level.
Back in July, EPSU, AGE and EDF sent a letter to the President of the European Parliament asking for an investigative tool to look into the failures of managing covid19 in long term care, which had devastating impacts on both patients and workers in the sector. Following the letter, around 90 MEPs signed a petition to the President of the different groups of the European Parliament to open up a parliamentary discussion.
The round table was opened by Borja Arrue, Policy Officer for Long Term Care at AGE Platform Europe, who explained the letter and the MEPs’ petition. This was follow by Jan Willem Goudriaan, General Secretary of EPSU who stressed:
Pat Clarke, an Executive Committee member of the European Disability Forum made an important point about the need to look into the impact of covid19 on the most vulnerable in society, and also moderated the exchange.
The three MEPs repeated the need to learn lessons of the first to avoid repeating the same mistakes. A vivid account was given by MEP Pelletier who used to work on a home care in France about the situation in her country. Majorino MEP emphasised the need for the European Parliament to get hands on the issue.
We expect the Council of Presidents, the body that sets the agenda of the EP, to discuss the letter and the demand signed by almost 100 MEPs some time in October.