PHM-Exch> Surely an appeal to citizens? 2017 report from the European Network to Reduce Vulnerabilities in Health

alison katz.alison at
Fri Nov 24 09:51:58 PST 2017

Dear friends in PHM

I can no longer bear to read terms such as "stakeholder".  This is the 
language of health plutocracy and the takeover by the private sector of 
yet more public spheres, in this case, health. *The appeal, if we 
analyse this carefully, must be to citizens or people: *all citizens or 
people, be they farmers, business men, teachers, construction workers, 
health professionals.

Citizens and people are the sovereign and the are the rights holders 
/and - in so far as governments democratically represent them and are 
accountable to them, they are also the duty bearers. /

To hold a stake is to have an interest in something, (meaning a monetary 
interest) and in its original meaning, this is no different from holding 
a share (ie to be a shareholder).   It is extraordinary how this absurd 
language has been adopted uncritically even among genuine health NGOs.

If we were to apply it to education, I think the absurdity would be more 
apparent. Children are not stakeholders in primary education. No more 
are they stakeholders in health. They are rights holders as, of course, 
are all adults.

At the same time, a number of adults (citizens), through their work, or 
through possession of shares, may have a financial interest in the area 
of health. Some have a different interest, not primarily financial, that 
is through their involvement in an association or political movement.  
These roles/interests all represent different relationships to health. 
They need careful analysis and categorization. But aside from these 
special relationships to health, all of these people (including the CEO 
of Pfizer) are rights holders as well - because they are citizens!

The language of stakeholders is dishonest. It attempts to remove 
politics and interests from the analysis by blocking any distinctions in 
people's relationship to the field of health.

We will never achieve the right to health if our analyses are shackled 
by terminology that in itself, prevents analysis of the major obstacle 
to the right to health. What is the major obstacles? More or less those 
citizens and entities who are in fact /genuine stakeholders in health 
because they have a financial interest in that sphere/!

In solidarity, Alison Katz

Le 23. 11. 17 à 17:00, Claudio Schuftan a écrit :
> From: *Emiliana Tapia* <emiliana.tapia at 
> <mailto:emiliana.tapia at>>
> Date: Thu, Nov 23, 2017 at 7:46 PMThe European Network to reduce 
> vulnerabilities in health, coordinated by MdM, has published its anual 
> report on European health systems.
> This European Observatory Report provides a snapshot of those who fall 
> through the cracks in European healthcare systems, and calls upon 
> stakeholders at global, European, and national level to achieve 
> universal healthcare coverage  as a priority.
> You can find the report in Spanish, English and French in the link:
> <>
> Informes | Médicos del Mundo 
> <>
> <>
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