Strasbourg, 23.05.2012 - “In view of the growing inequalities and current challenges, the Assembly should demand equal access to health-care and treatment for everyone living in Europe, without discrimination on the basis of financial means, residence status or place of residence,” said Jean-Louis Lorrain (France, EPP/CD) in his draft report on equal access to healthcare.
During an exchange of views held by the Social Affairs Committee in Paris, Philippe Douste-Blazy, President of Unitaid, a body which collects funds through innovative financing to fight AIDS and malaria, said that thanks to a supranational system of solidarity taxes, Unitaid can collect funds to provide healthcare for the poorest members of society. By means of the one-euro levy on each national and European air ticket and the four-euro levy on international air tickets, introduced in France in 2006 and since extended to other participating countries, 2.2 billion dollars have been raised.
He launched an urgent appeal to increase the number of countries participating in Unitaid and pointed out that this new type of funding could be perfectly applied to sectors other than air travel, eg the Internet, the mobile phone industry, the tobacco industry and financial transactions.
The aim of the report, which should be finalised by late 2012, will be to take stock of the current state of health systems in Europe, international norms and the threats to equal access to healthcare given the current economic situation and existing austerity programmes.