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Financing public services in Asia-Pacific in a post-Covid world

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Ahead of the UN Public Service Day on June 23rd PSI and Action Aid organized virtual press conference to share COVID-19 recovery plans that deliver a new era of public services for all.

Kate Lappin from Public Services International(PSI) moderated the press conference , she stated that Public services are undermined from last 40 years , many countries privatized public health sector by following International Financial Institutions(IFIS) directives.

Moreover she said this crisis is also an opportunity for all and by providing better public health services we can deal future crisis in a better way.

David from Action Aid shared the findings of research report of organization titles as “Who Cares for the future: finance gender responsive public services”, He said due to rising debt of IMF almost 60 countries have cut 12% finance on public services.

Further he said Middle and Low income countries have cut and freeze wages of public sector employees by the advice of IMF.

He asked that those countries which have low tax income like banglaesh, Pakistan including others cannot provide better health services .WE need to be ready to deal with the challenges of post covid environment.

He also added that, Governments have failed to provide quality public health services , domestic violence rise , women have to work more as the burden falls on households

While sharing views Rosa Pavanelli General Secretary of PSI said, we are witnessing failure of countries in this period of pandemic as almost every person have experienced worst public health services amid COVID-19.

She stated that reduce in funding, under staffing in health sector and complete absence of occupational health service policy has put worst impacts on public health services.

Governments should have to realize that public services support economy but due to worst condition it is something that affect community at large , she said.

Whereas PSI General Secretary added that, Neo Liberal model of privatization of public services have undermine the capacity of public health services.

Further she emphasized that, we need to come back in reality that means investing on public services and tax should have to be impose on I.T sector as they are making large profit during this pandemic.

Sharing her views about the public services she added,Freezing of wages, outsourcing and privatization are the consequences which we are facing now, its time to think for new and different system.

Moreover Nisha from Action Aid Nepal said that the deaths have been increasing due to insufficient public health services. She also informed that domestic and sexual violence have increased in lockdown as police is busy in imposing on lockdown they are not supporting the affectees of violence.

Whereas she revealed that the Quarantine centers are not gender friendly in Nepal as rape cases reported in it and medicines are also not available in remote areas.

However, Mr. Narsiman General Secretary of All India National Life Insurance Employees Federation said that public health sector faced shortage of PPEs in first phase of pandemic but now local companies are manufacturing PPEs in India.

Whereas he said finance cut on public health funding create problem for medical professionals including other related staff of health sector.

At last Rosa Pavanelli said  trade union movements should have to bring more vocal voice in post pandemic for the need to change the rules of economy.

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