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WFTU Announcement on the Occasion of World Health Day 2023

The World Federation of Trade Unions on behalf of its hundreds of affiliates and their 105 million workers from 133 of the 5 continents commemorates World Health Day and reiterates its firm demand for free access to public healthcare for all.

We pay tribute to the self-sacrifices of the workers during the pandemic fighting for popular-strata healthcare and producing all the essentials for life. We pay a tribute to the heroic doctors, nurses, and scientists all over the world who extended their internationalist solidarity in practice and traveled across the world to help their peoples in need. On the opposite side of the river, the bourgeoise class once again saw “opportunity” in the crisis. They used the pandemic as a golden excuse to cut jobs and salaries, relocate factories, and put the trade unions in the crosshair, increasing the violation of trade union freedoms and labor rights.

Three years after the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic the importance of universal, public, free, and adequate healthcare is self-evident and the failure of capitalism in handling such a crisis is obvious. The loss of so many lives during the Covid-19 pandemic was not an inevitable natural phenomenon. A lot of people lost their lives due to a lack of access to free and public healthcare and the anti-people policies of the bourgeoise governments resulting in understaffed and underfunded hospitals. Many medical companies made massive profits, capitalizing on the pandemic. The vaccines instead of being provided for free to all people and countries, the highest paying countries were prioritized, and some countries were denied from importing vaccines because of political and imperialist antagonisms.

Moreover, the wave of dismissals created unprotected unemployed without health insurance, making hospitalization unaffordable and leading to many deaths that could have been prevented. On top of that the -even before the pandemic- overwhelmed hospital systems could not deal with the rest healthcare needs of the population leaving even people with dangerous conditions and illnesses without the proper treatment.

The WFTU salutes its affiliates, the class-oriented and militant trade unions all over the globe for their relentless struggles defending the non-negotiable right of all people to universal, public, free, and adequate healthcare and calls upon its affiliates to intensify their efforts and remaining at the forefront of this vital fight.

Healthcare is not a commodity, is a fundamental right!

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