Background document: Corporate Capture of Our Healthcare Systems

Publish Date: 
Wednesday, September 8, 2021


Corporate Capture of Our Healthcare Systems Derails Health Equity

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Corporate capture of government decision-making on healthcare poses one of the most dangerous threats to people’s right to health. For decades, under the guise of liberalisation of the market, innovation, and safety, corporate and economic elites have lobbied national and international decision-making spaces to influence legislation and policy making towards profit. While under international law States are obligated to ensure the right to health for all without discrimination, the privatizacion of healthcare - as a result of corporate capture - is leading to the dismantling of public healthcare at the expense of health workers, who are disproportionaly women, and ultimately, of people’s equitable access to healthcare. As this document reveals, the COVID-19 pandemic is a staggering example of how corporate capture is at the heart of the inherent failure of healthcare systems globally. At a time when sharing scientific knowledge, including patents, could save millions of lives - several pharmaceutical corporations and States have opposed this, resulting in inequitable distribution of vaccines. ESCR-Net documents with concrete examples the four main symptoms of corporate capture and the severe impact on people’s right to health:

1) The privatization of healthcare;
2) The lack of transparency
3) The protection of intellectual property
4) The theft of emergency funds by the wealthiest 1%

Our demands for change

  • Prohibit corporate capture
  • Adopt and implement intersectional approaches in health financing
  • Guarantee the universal, equal right to healthcare
  • Use maximum available resources, as well as international assistance and cooperation, to realize the highest attainable standard of healthcare
  • Protect healthcare and other essential workers
  • Implement full labor protections for all workers
  • Nationalize healthcare systems and medical supply chains
  • Invest in strengthening country-level capacity for monitoring and analyzing relevant disaggregated data throughout the healthcare system

Act now!

  1. Share this comic on corporate capture of our healthcare system - tag us @ESCRNET and use the following hashtags: #StopCorporateCapture, #HealthOverProfit
  2. Use this comic as a political education tool and in your advocacy work!
  3. Disseminate and denounce reports of evolving cases of capture of health care in your own context using #HealthOverProfit and @ESCRNet.

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