For budget stuffing

Babler: Government is selling our health!

09.07.2024 16:34

Against the backdrop of the takeover of the domestic healthcare provider VAMED by the French private equity company PAI, SPÖ leader Andreas Babler insisted on Tuesday on the non-profit nature of the domestic health and care sector. He criticized the previous exit of the state holding company ÖBAG from VAMED, saying that the turquoise-green federal government was selling "our health" to plug budget holes.

"No profit with nursing care", was the core statement made by Babler at a press conference. The Social Democrats want to put a stop to such developments and get the entire healthcare system "out of danger". With their contributions, Austrians had earned health and care services that could be obtained with the e-card and not just with a credit card.

Health and social system should remain in public hands
In the past, privatization was often seen as a panacea, Babler said, not excluding red government members of past years from his criticism. Today we know how important it is for the health and social system to remain in public hands. Private investors are only interested in returns. There was a threat of unequal access to services, higher costs and unstable service provision due to insolvencies. At the very least, the providers should be forced to reinvest in healthcare facilities by earmarking their profits, he demanded.

(Bild: – Nuttapong punna)

Expert: Investors have negative consequences
Babler was joined by socio-economist Hans Volmary, who gave a short health economics lecture on "shareholder-oriented transnational investors in critical social infrastructure". The conclusion of his study, using examples from Germany and England, was that the entry of such investors has negative consequences for society, the environment, the economy and employees.

In comparison, Austria is "in a privileged position and therefore worthy of protection", said Volmary, because, for example, the entry of financial investors into primary care facilities has been prevented. This proves that such negative developments can be prevented and even reversed by political decisions.

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