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Government move on privatisation in health, education flayed

The Committee against Privatisation of Essential Services, a coalition of organizations in the Punjab, have staged a demonstration in Bathinda against the government move to push privatisation in the health and education sectors. “They said the institutions, which were being handed over to private players to earn profit, were not the property of any individual, but had been built from the taxpayers’ money. The representatives said the government had not only failed in its Constitutional duty, but was also playing into the hands of private players. They demanded to roll back the PPP model and an increase in the health and education budget to meet the growing needs of the ailing people.”

Source: Tribuneindia News Service

When Electricity Means Life

Primah Kwagala of the Center for Health, Human Rights and Development in Uganda writes that health facilities should not be targeted by privatised energy providers. “When Uganda’s privatized electricity supplier shuts off power to hospitals, the results are catastrophic. In 2012, 150 babies on oxygen concentrators at a hospital in Jinja died after utility company UMEME Uganda Limited turned off the electricity with no prior notice. In 2015, Kiboga District Hospital was without power for over a month. UMEME disconnected the supply because the government of Uganda had not paid the bill of over 100 million Uganda Shillings (US$26,600). The utility has a right to be paid for the services it provides. But when it comes to hospitals, the consequences are too grave for such hard and fast rules.”


Hospital PPPs Undermine Healthcare

Despite all the evidence to the contrary, and substantial opposition from community groups, public-private partnerships (PPPs) are still being promoted to deliver sustainable development. Public-private hospital partnerships are supposed to ensure that the private sector will offer much needed efficiency in healthcare provision. The authors of the analytical article “Hospital PPPs Undermine Healthcare” refer to the resonant history, which has happened with the Northern Beaches Hospital, a PPP between the New South Wales government and Healthscope. They emphasize that “any government considering healthcare PPPs should be aware of the Australian experience”.


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Public good or private wealth?

The core topic of this year’s Oxfam report ‘Public Good or Private Wealth’ is the relationship between public services and economic and gender inequality. It shows the growing gap between rich and poor is undermining the fight against poverty, damaging our economies and fuelling public anger across the globe. It reveals how governments are exacerbating inequality by underfunding public services, such as healthcare and education, on the one hand, while under taxing corporations and the wealthy, and failing to clamp down on tax dodging, on the other. It also finds that women and girls are hardest hit by rising economic inequality.

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