The 2022 summer school explored the interconnections between globalised capitalism, inequality and health. We focussed on ways in which ethics can guide/support our work as health professionals and political activists dedicated to Health For All. Participants from various countries took part in a dialogue with professionals from diverse backgrounds in order to identify problems and to discuss potential solutions.
The coronavirus pandemic and the measures to contain it have brought ethical questions in health care and health policies to the forefront. The pandemic has highlighted both the global connectedness and the fragility of our societies. Above all, the pandemic has exposed the global divide of our world society, as blantantly illustrated by the unequal distribution of access to COVID-19 vaccines. African intellectuals and politicians have called it a “vaccine apartheid.” How is it possible that even at the moment of a health emergency of this magnitude, the international system has proved incapable of ensuring an equitable and effective pandemic response?
The coronavirus pandemic and its responses also clearly exposed the severe consequences of the economisation of health care. COVID-19 hit health systems across the globe, many of which had been subject to neoliberal restructuring for several decades.
However it also offered an opportunity to address the issue of health as a commodity versus health as a common good and the expression of a human right, and reveals the necessity thereof. The pandemic has begun to stir a political and ethical debate on the postcolonial patterns and immense democratic deficits in global health and global health policy.
During the summer school we approached these diverse but interconnected topics from different perspectives. We asked questions such as: How can health and democracy movements react to the need for transformation that the pandemic has so clearly indicated? What can we learn from different perspectives, experiences and resistances around the globe? And how can we begin to build a fairer, more responsible international system that makes true the promise of Health for All?
For more information please check out the 2022 programme and participants handbook.