When: Thursday, 1 June
Although one of the main triggers of the current crisis was the health emergency resulting from COVID-19, three years later we seem to have forgotten the consequences of underfunded and privatised public health and care services when it comes to dealing with a global pandemic. Moreover, it is not just that they are unprepared for an emergency like 2020, but that across Europe, public services are being progressively dismantled in favour of large private companies. Privatisation, rather than being reversed, is being deepened by the EU’s recovery and transition plans. An example of this is the Strategic Project for Economic Recovery and Transformation (PERTE) Salud de Vanguardia, one of the mechanisms for channelling Next Generation Funds in Spain.
These plans consolidate Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) and turn digitalisation and technological modernisation into the solution to all crises (including the care crisis). Moreover, they are not committed to guaranteeing basic rights, nor do they recognise the urgency of dignifying essential jobs for the reproduction of life; while they create new mechanisms of indebtedness that will mean more cuts in public services.
Feminisms have long warned of the need to prioritise the reproduction of life over the economy, a choice that became evident during the confinement, but which was soon left behind. In this context, we ask: what are the new forms of privatisation of health and care and what are the consequences? How do care workers experience this privatisation and what are their demands? What are the alternatives for a truly ecofeminist transition?