Open letter to the WHO on the commercialisation and privatisation of healthcare
Global Justice Now has joined several civil society organisations in publishing a joint statement calling on the World Health Organisation to resist the commercialisation and privatisation of healthcare. The statement was published on Monday 24th May, ahead of the opening of the World Health Assembly, and sent directly to Zsuzsanna Jakab, Deputy Director-General of the WHO.
The groups, including Public Services International, GI-ESCR, Oxfam and People’s Health Movement, argue that a strategy report published online by the WHO in 2020 promotes “mixed” public-private health systems and fails to take into account the human rights implications of promoting private sector engagement in health.
The statement condemns the role of the private sector in the Covid-19 response, highlighting that some private hospitals in India have been accused of overcharging and/or refusing to treat patients. The organsiations call for a “truly open and consultative process” to clarify the status of the report and for all WHO strategies to be “clearly aligned with the right to health, international human rights law and WHO’s commitment to promote quality public healthcare”.
For our previous research on the use of UK aid to finance private healthcare, see Healthcare for all? How UK aid undermines universal public healthcare.