A joint statement from the following organizations: Right Care Alliance, Alliance of Doctors for Ethical Health Care, Slow Medicine Italy, and Slow Medicine Brazil
Across the world, more and more patients, their families, their doctors, nurses and other health professionals who care for them, are all experiencing a deepening malaise about a working environment excessively concerned with money and profit. Medicine is in danger of losing its soul.
Too much of the world has no access to basic health care at the same time as too many people are getting care they don’t need nor would want if they were fully informed.
The sources of this are many, including the decline of professionalism, the corruption of science, the failure to listen to communities’ understanding of their needs, the lack of democratic input into the design of health care systems, rising economic inequality, and the trend of corporatization treating healthcare as a commodity for profiteering. This decline has been accelerating as governments have moved away from their responsibility to help and care for their people by increasingly leaning on a private, unaccountable healthcare sector that is driven by greed, whether by pharmaceutical companies, medical technical industries, private insurance companies, or vaccination industries, to name few.
In the face of these problems we see an emerging movement for human health across the globe, in many societies of varied cultures and histories, all confronting this fundamental issue of human existence: how will we treat each other, as units in an economic production process, or as fellow mortal beings in need of solidarity and support?
How will we treat each other – as units in an economic production process, or as fellow mortal beings in need of solidarity and support?
We the undersigned organizations declare that we need a new kind of health care that puts relationship ahead of the transaction, and honors the ancient calling of healers to be guides in life’s journey for all members of the human community.
We believe it is time for a renaissance in health care. Such a renaissance should be focused on the restoration of the relationship between healers and their communities. That sacred space needs greater protection from the forces of money and needs to allow science to take its proper role as the handmaiden of human needs rather than as an instrument of profit, and to ensure that health workers are able to offer the gift of their time as well of their knowledge. We believe that if this is to happen; humanity must take the fundamental decision at this crucial juncture that healthcare is not a commodity but a social good. Health should be declared a fundamental right of all citizens around the globe and the drivers of good health, such as food security, shelter, and education must be ensured.
We believe it is time for a renaissance in health care, focused on the restoration of the relationship between healers and their communities.
We call on all citizens concerned with the health of their families and their communities and on all health professionals to join us in this work: to develop every action, initiative and policy that will promote a vision of health care for the common good, a health care that is in harmony with our deeply social nature and with our capacity for innovation, a high quality health care that is equitable and accessible for all, operating within broader systems of health that promote the health of all.
Right Care Alliance, USA
Alliance of Doctors for Ethical Health Care, India
Slow Medicine Italy
Slow Medicine Brazil