The Medical Associations of Portugal, Greece, Spain and Ireland have issued an “Open Letter to Political Leaders and Health Authorities of Europe,” decrying the disastrous effects of the austerity policies imposed by the IMF, European Union, and European Central Bank — the infamous “Troika” — on the health and lives of the people of their nations.
Although still too polite about a policy which constitutes nothing less than genocide, such a call from the medical establishments of these four nations is unprecedented, and begs the urgency of a Glass-Steagall revolution to overturn financial policies which are killing people.
It is “unacceptable” that “decisions of critical importance for the economy and for social protection systems of a number of countries have been taken, particularly over the last two years, by the EC, the ECB, the IMF and national governments” without taking due account of their effect on national health systems.
“Social and economic crises of the magnitude now experienced in many European countries have well-known health implications:
“Loss of self-esteem, depression and suicide;
“Increased susceptibility for communicable diseases;
“Enhancement of risk-taking behavior both in terms of addictions and in relation to risk factors of chronic conditions;…
“Public services have been deprived of the funding necessary to perform adequately while community health needs are increasing.
“This is now happening: extensive and deep human suffering, and increased number of situations that defy the most basic and ethical concepts of human dignity.
“Deteriorating health systems — along with the emigration of the most qualified among the young, long-term unemployment, and depressed fertility rates — will very likely have long-term consequences, affecting future generations….
“The signatories of this open letter call upon the international and national political and health authorities to:
…”Ensure that awareness of the health impact of the financial and economic decisions adopted in the recent period, results in a rapid revision of such decisions, in order to urgently prevent further deterioration of the health and health services in our communities.
“…Mobilize and orient towards the Common Good, the extraordinary potential of intelligence, knowledge and innovation of today’s societies, rather than undercutting the health system’s ability to evolve, transform itself, better perform its function, become more citizen-centered, and respond to current and future challenges.”
Dr. Michael Vlastarakos, President, Hellenic Medical Association
Dr. George Patoulis, President, Athens Medical Association
Dr. Nikolas Maroudias, President of Hospital Medical Directors
Dr. Bodossakis-Prodromos R. Merkouris, President, Greek Association of General Practitioners: ELEGEIA Dr. Andreas Seretis, President of Central Health Council
Mrs Olymbia Chaldaiou ñ Bitrou, President, OEKK ìAgaliazoî National Association Against Cancer Professor John Kyriopoulos, Dean, National School of Public Health, Professor of Health Economics
Professor Christos Lionis, Professor of General Practice and Primary Health Care, Faculty of Medicine, Uni- versity of Crete
Professor Aris Sissouras, Prof. Emeritus, Operational Research (Health Policy and Management), University of Patras
Dr. Charalampos Economou, Assistant Professor of Health Policy, Dept. of Sociology, Panteion University
Dr Paul McKeown, President of the Irish Medical organisation, Senior Lecturer in Epidemiology and Public Health in the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland and Consultant Physician in Public Health at the Health Pro- tection Surveillance Centre in Dublin
Professor Charles Normand, Edward Kennedy Chair of Health Policy and Management, Centre for Health Policy and Management, Trinity College Dublin
Professor Cecily Kelleher, Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health and Head of the School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Population Science, University College Dublin.
Professor Hannah McGee, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Royal College of Surgeons Ireland
Professor Ivan Perry, Professor of Public Health and Head of the Department of Epidemiology & Public Health, University College Cork
Professor Joe Barry, Chair of Population Health Medicine, Department of Public Health and Primary Care, Trinity College Dublin
Dr. Steve Thomas, Resilience of the Irish Health Systems project, Centre for Health Policy and Management, Trinity College, Dublin
Professor JosÈ Manuel Silva, Presidente of the Portuguese Medical Association
Dr. Maria de BelÈm Roseira, Member of Parliament, Ex-Minister of Health
Dr. Paulo Mendo, Ex-Minister of Health
Professor Adalberto Campos Fernandes, Health Policy, National School of Public Health Professora Ana Escoval, President of the Portuguese Association of Hospitals
Professor Constantino Sakellarides, Prof. Emeritus Health Policy, National School of Public Health
Professor Henrique Barros, Director of Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Predictive Medicine and Public Health, Medical School, University of Porto
Dr. JosÈ Aranda da Silva, 1st President of the Portuguese Institute of Pharmacies and Medicines
Maria Augusta Sousa, nurse, Board of Directors, Foundation for Health – NHS
Dr. VÌtor Ramos, family doctor, pioneering team, Portuguese primary health care reform.
Dr. Juan- JosÈ RodrÌguez-SendÌn: General Practitioner and President of the Spanish General Council of Medi- cal Colleges.
Professor Dr. JosÈ-MarÌa Segovia-de-Arana: Emeritus Professor and Member of the Royal Academy of Medi- cine.
Professor Dr. Joan RodÈsTeixidor: President IDIBAPS of the Clinic Hospital of Barcelona.
Professor Vicente Ort ̇n Rubio: Health Economist and Dean of the Faculty of Economics of the PompeuFabra University in Barcelona
Professor Dr. Alfonso Moreno Gonz·lez: Clinical Pharmacologist and President of the Spanish Council of Post-graduate Health Specialization.
Professor Dr. JosÈ-Manuel Freire-Campo: Head of the Department of International Health at the National School of Public Health in Madrid
Professor Dr. JosÈ-RamÛn Repullo-Labrador: Head of the Department of Health Planning and Economics at the National School of Public Health in Madrid
Read the full letter in portuguese & english :
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– Medical Association of Athens APPLICATION – REFERENCE TO THE U.N