UNICARE Europa President says care cannot be left to whims of the market
Frederic Favraud, UNICARE Europa President from French affiliate FO-FEC, speaking at the recent ILO tripartite meeting on care, demanded a change to the way care systems are financed.
Favraud said, “We need to invest more in care and not less and UNICARE must fight for that change not only in Europe but across the world. Financing of the care sector must be based on needs and not subject to market rules and requirements. This implies in particular that health costs are not associated with public deficits: For example, in France social security accounts have been subject to the policies of reduction of public deficits and subordination to the convergence criteria laid down by the European Commission. Social security has been the subject of a formidable cost-cutting offensive with dramatic consequences in the field of health and workers in this sector.”
He said that health professionals must be given the freedom to work effectively in the healthcare system and not be dictated to by the rule makers. Favraud explained, “This freedom must be ensured in order to prevent the implementation of devices framing or subordinating to criteria of cost and savings the decisions and professional choices of doctors and healthcare workers. Again, France offers a regrettable example: a contract system called "good behavior contract” has been set up between health insurance and doctors: after these contracts doctors have to undertake to reduce their prescriptions ( Medicines, work stoppages), whereby they receive a premium at the end of the year in proportion to the savings made, and it is clear that such a device goes against the needs and health of the patients.”
Favroud concluded his remarks by underlining the importance of a free accessible education system. He said, “It is a demand that we must bear because it is the necessary condition for the children of the workers to have access to long studies such as medicine or nursing. Studies must be carried out by public education in order to ensure the quality and objectivity of their content. Employers should not be solicited for subsidies or for direct care and management of schooling. We know that they never do anything without conditions and without trying to profit from them. Always in line with this issue of respect for the independence of health professionals in the exercise of their profession. It is necessary to guarantee training and continuing education outside the influence of financial and private groups."