Defiance and trust
We can only deplore the fourth Covid wave which is currently breaking over Europe, hitting hardest eastern Europe where vaccine coverage is significantly lower.
We can analyze and discuss numbers and facts, they are important, but it is time for EU27 to look for solutions and act.
At the very beginning of the crisis, we observed actions of solidarity towards supporting hospitals and seeking solutions for Intensive Care Units, with appropriate equipment and workforce. Later the EU managed to celebrate contracts with the Pharma industry providing Europeans broad and fast access to vaccination.
Stella Kyriakides, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, said at the time “… I am happy that we have now concluded six vaccine agreements so far. This is a clear demonstration of the European Health Union in action: a European Union that delivers tangible results for its citizens and a blueprint for our cooperation in the area of health in the future. A safe and effective vaccine is more important than ever in helping to restore normality and overcome this pandemic. No one is safe until everyone is safe.”
But one and half year later, we observe a poor protection rate in some Member States.
Let me remind you of a very compelling OECD paper “Trust and its determinants: Evidence from the Trustlab experiment” published in 2018, one year before the crisis. We learn in this paper about our common weakness, our failure to communicate. The EU must remain strong and engaged in this last step, not only by providing or financing, but by convincing all European citizens that science is the answer in healthcare and that results must be trusted. Policy makers in our common space must also be supported by results and medical benefits. All forces are useful when human lives hang in the balance.
The private health providers that UEHP represents, continue to properly inform the population, to vaccinate, to treat the patients and to open new ICU beds when necessary. The private health sector is a major link in this chain providing indispensable care for all.
Dr Paul Garassus
President of UEHP
President of UEHP