Study Shows How IMF Forced Cuts in Health Systems Despite WHO Recommendations

re posted from                              EIR Daily Alert Service

Study Shows How IMF Forced Cuts in Health Systems Despite WHO Recommendations

July 10 (EIRNS)—ActionAid and Public Services International (PSI) has published a study documenting how the International Monetary Fund’s forced austerity policies had already severely damaged public health systems in many poor countries prior to the coronavirus pandemic.

“The analysis, released to mark UN Public Service Day (June 23), shows that every single low-income country which received IMF advice to cut or freeze public employment in the past three years had already been identified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as facing a critical health worker shortage.”

Key findings include:

“Of the 57 countries last identified by the WHO as facing critical health worker shortages, 24 received advice from the IMF to cut or freeze public sector wages.

“When countries are told to contain wage bills—it means fewer doctors, nurses, and frontline workers in countries already desperately short of medics. All but one of the 18 low-income countries advised by the IMF to cut or freeze public sector employment funding, are currently below the WHO’s recommended nurse-to-population threshold of 30 per 10,000. The WHO predicts that these countries will experience a collective shortage of at least 695,000 nurses by 2030.”

For example, lessons of the Ebola crisis have not been learned: “In Liberia, where understaffing and inadequate resourcing contributed to the deaths of over 300 health workers during the Ebola outbreak, the IMF recommended the country cut its public sector employment funding by 17%. This was despite Liberia having a nurse to citizen ratio of less than 6 per 10,000. The National Health Workers’ Union of Liberia (NAHWUL) says the IMF pressure has led the government to implement enforced retirements and unexplained pay deductions along with missed salary payments in the sector.”

Read the full story here.

Source: EIR Daily Alert Service

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