04/04/2014 LONDON’S Green MEP Jean Lambert has pledged her continued support for high quality nursing and enhanced patient care across Europe.
Speaking at the launch of the Royal College of Nursing (1) campaign ahead of the European Parliamentary election next month (2), she said that Greens had been focussed on delivering a EU-wide universal right to healthcare – and taking specific measures on improving rights for nurses and other professionals travelling across borders to work.
She said: “Trying to save money by reducing health budgets in times of Government austerity is a false economy: the costs of ill-health are worsened, and borne later – either in terms of increased health costs or in terms of nurses’ workloads.
She said we need to plan for the future of nursing, with an ageing population and an ageing workforce – and that there should be no ‘rollback’ on either working time limits or other working conditions in order to help retain staff and ensure there are enough nurses in future.
Ms Lambert added: “Nurses play a key role in delivering healthcare around the EU: and the European Parliament must support them.
“That means fighting back-door health privatisation through trade deals like the TTIP (3), defending workers rights, seeking to ensure society is healthier – for example through food labelling or opportunities for walking, cycling and play – and ensuring nurses’ voices are heard whenever the EU is considering health or care measures.”
(1) The Royal College of Nursing (RCN).
(2) The election in London takes place on May 22nd.
(3) The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership – a proposed trade agreement between the EU and US which Greens fear would entrench privatisation in the NHS. See here for more information.