MHWUN President Speaks Against Privatisation at UNISON Conference

The National President of MHWUN, Comrade Biobelemoye Joy Josiah recenly spoke through a video recording to delegates at the UNSION Annual National Conference held in London on June 21-24, 2016. Noting the warm relations existing over the years, he stressed the need for the two unions to redouble efforts in combating the privatisation of healthcare delivery across the world.

UNISON is the largest public sector trade union in Britain. It represents public health workers, amongst others and has been at the fore of struggle against creeping privatisation of the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK. It has equally challenged the growing support of the British Department for International Development (DfID) for the privatisation of health services in developing countroies like Nigeria.

In a recent report of the Conference, UNISON noted that 40% of DfID’s budget is used to subsidise public-private partnership in the health sector across the developing world. The main beneficiaries of this are multinational corporations and big business in countries like Nigeria which “invest” in healthcare delivery.

But, as Comrade Biobelemoye rightly notes, health is not a commodity. It is a human right. Health sector unions in the advanced capitalist countries such as UNISON and unions in the Global South such as MHWUN have to fight together for the human right to health.

This requires unequivocal struggle against privatisation of health services in the spirit of the UNSION Conference.