This workshop, which was absolutely relevant and necessary, offered a broad panoramic, global and local view of the critical situation to which the Covid-19 pandemic has led us.
Throughout 8 presentations, and the subsequent question-and-answer session, elements of description, diagnosis, and experiences/proposals were provided.
To start with, a moving video from comrade Enrique Ubieta -spokesman for the Cuban Brigades – was presented. It showed how the Cuban Brigades, driven by values of solidarity, responded to the call of some European countries during the first wave. In the same vein, speakers described the enormous efforts and generosity demonstrated by public health workers in the struggle to meet urgent health needs.
The best information – recommended – would be the calm viewing of these two rich hours of recorded material, which are worth taking the time to enjoy.
Panellists spoke from experience and with honesty of things that are so relevant to address this brutal crisis, of concepts and values that define Health and health services, both fundamental for the Left and in the model of progressive, social, green and sanitary policies than have existed throughout our history. Inequalities, Universality (each and every person), Allocation for Financial Autonomy, History and epidemiology, Markets and economism vs right to health, Treatments and Vaccines (safety and conflict of interest), Future PUBLIC (in capital letters) perspectives, Work , occupational health and safety, international solidarity beyond Europe, and the ecological and systemic dimension itself throughout the process.
Mistakes – in diverse forms – were analysed in the different stages and up to the uncertain present: initially because of ignorance, later because of the invasion of neo-liberal policies, in every country and in the EU. The wider international scene and the result of the US presidential elections were touched upon, with all the pro-fascist reactions of the “looser” Trump and his threatening populism and doctrine.
But proposals were also made that motivate our work, and show us the light at the end of the tunnel. Learning and Resilience to build a health model that corrects hospital-centrism. Green economy, Universal minimum income and social rights, Relaunching and dignifying Public Health, Authentic citizen participation and co-management, industrial and local sovereignty versus the opulence of the pharmaceutical industry, and above all in the words of the Moderator, Francine, the interconnection of everything, everywhere, as a method to address, progress and HOPE.
In short, a rich debate with a wide and diverse participation that showed that, even with something as complex and shocking as the Coronavirus Pandemic, we are capable of thinking, learning, living and surviving together each according to their ability.