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Parliamentary questions
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1 February 2021
Question for written answer  E-000628/2021
to the Commission
Rule 138
Sira Rego (The Left)
 Answer in writing 
 Subject: Privatisation of healthcare causes deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic

The Corporate Europe Observatory(1) has published a report stating that the privatisation of healthcare in the EU has contributed to a higher number of deaths from COVID-19 by leading to a significant degradation of hospitals, nursing homes and the response capacity of Member States, resulting in a health service that is underfunded and understaffed(2).

These privatisations have been promoted by the Commission through political and regulatory pressures to cut public spending, such as austerity measures and the European Semester. The study gives the example of Spain and the degradation of the public health system after years of austerity and harsh cuts.

Moreover, the pandemic has been used to push ahead with the outsourcing of services, taking advantage of the health emergency to divert public funds to the private sector, as evidenced by a recent report by Audita Sanidad on these practices in the Autonomous Community of Madrid(3).

1. Does the Commission intend to amend the criteria for budgetary evaluation so as to place public health needs at the heart?

2. Will the next European Semester include recommendations such as limiting health spending and public investment, which, in the words of Commissioner Gentiloni, would be ‘making the mistakes of the past’(4)?

Original language of question: ES
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