July 2021 Session

July 2021

Rebuilding our Healthcare Systems

Neoliberal recipes that rely on cutting public spending and on the functioning of markets to deliver sufficient healthcare have failed and rendered our societies even more vulnerable to health crises. We need another way.

Austerity policies that have been implemented in the last decade in the EU have led to the defunding of public services and infrastructures on which we depend. Without these sectors and services made more resilient and sustainable, we won’t be able to adequately tackle health and other future crises.

How can we start rebuilding our healthcare systems, in ways that are respectful to its workers and to the planetary boundaries? What new principles can we apply to ensure that health is seen as a common good for all EU citizens?

As the Greens, we think that healthcare and other public services must be viewed as commons that we need to protect and fund adequately. EU Member States need to guarantee universal healthcare coverage and accessibility to healthcare facilities to everyone. We are calling for the EU to make vaccines and treatments available and affordable for all. Now is the time to change the current model to one based on open science, where pharmaceutical products are not made more costly by patent licensing and non-transparent research and development costs.

Film: 21 July at 00:00 CEST – 22 July at 23:59 CEST

Burning Out

Synopsis: Over a two-year period, filmmaker Jérôme le Maire captures everyday life in the surgical department of a Parisian hospital. He paints a disconcerting picture of the imminent burnout threatening the healthcare system in 2016. A combination of heavy workloads, intense stress, low staffing levels and budget cuts has deeply undermined the atmosphere. We see doctors and nursing staff working through exhaustion. “We cram, we cram, we cram,” sighs one overworked doctor after glancing at the schedule. Meanwhile, management is pushing for even more efficiency and cost cutting.

The COVID crisis has tipped the healthcare infrastructures and staff across Europe over the edge. Healthcare workers in countries such as Belgium and France were already protesting the lack of funding before the pandemic and warning their governments of its impact. Today, we see the devastation caused by overwhelmed hospitals and overworked staff.

Director: Jérôme Le Maire
Country: France
Duration: 85′

Access: due to distribution rights, this screening is only accessible in the European Union

Debate: 22 July at 19:00 CEST

Following the screening of ‘Burning Out’, we hosted a debate on Thursday 22 July at 19:00 CEST. We explored the state of healthcare systems across Europe, and how they can be rebuilt to ensure a more resilient and sustainable Europe. We took into consideration various perspectives, including that of local and European politicians and healthcare workers. The session tackled essential topics such as the need for investing in healthcare systems, respecting health workers’ rights and viewing healthcare as a fundamental right.

We had an interesting conversation with Jérôme le Maire, director of ‘Burning Out’; Adam Rogalewski, Policy Officer for Health and Social Services, Alex Mayer Fuentes, Doctor, Internal Medicine, Hospital Taulí; Tilly Metz, Member of the European Parliament; Mar Garcia, Secretary General, European Green Party, moderated by Dr Sam Murray, Music Lecturer and EGP Amendments Committee Member.

At the end of the session, The Green Screen featured the artistic spot of Iris Serrano, where art meets healthcare though a feminist artist, who painted a mural in the delivery room of a Valencian Hospital. Art is therapeutic and transformative. In health settings, it can improve the well-being of patients. The experience of childbirth in a safe and beautiful space is empowering for women.