"We came to talk about the transformation of Health Systems": Román Vega
Three days lasted the deliberations and exchange of experiences of allies and organizations affiliated to the People's Health Movement (PHM) in the Mesoamerican and Caribbean Regional Meeting for the refoundation and transformation of health systems that took place from May 16 to 18, 2023 in Santo Domingo Oeste, Dominican Republic.
"We have come with the purpose of putting on the public agenda the debate on the need to create universal health systems with equitable access according to the needs of individuals, families and communities, to guarantee the right to health as a fundamental human right," said Román Vega, PHM Global Coordinator at the meeting.
María Hamlin Zúñiga, from the Nicaraguan delegation of the PHM added that "we came to talk about the Central American and Caribbean context, we talked about the health systems that currently exist in Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Guatemala where there is a strong component of the native peoples in the health of the people but not necessarily within the official health system, and we talked about a study we did in El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua on health systems and a proposal we have for health systems that are more friendly to the people.
It is hoped that this exchange of experiences and debates will strengthen the public discussion on health systems and contribute to their transformation into equitable, solidarity-based, comprehensive and universal systems.
"We believe that health is not a commodity, it cannot be, it should not be, it is a right, it is a common good of the people that the states must guarantee, but the opposite is happening, it has become a huge business, not only for businessmen and entities of each country, but also for large multinationals that operate at the level of service provision, health insurance, provision of medicines, health technologies and supplies, it is a huge business of capital investment on a global scale and in Latin America we have very clear examples". Vega said when asked about the scope of the campaign and concluded: "we are talking about the re-foundation of the decolonization of health systems and we mean that our peoples should exercise their sovereign right to have their own health systems that are not imposed on us by the global North or by entities such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund or the Washington Consensus that do not impose health policies on us".