Fair Medical Trade and Ethical Procurement


The BMA is putting pressure on the NHS to use more Fairtrade and ethically-sourced equipment. Good, good.  Source.  The BMA has a website here explaining more.

Dr Mahmood Bhutta, advisor on the BMA medical fair and ethical trade group, said . . . “There is evidence to suggest that many supplies used in the NHS are produced in unhealthy, unsafe and unfair working conditions.”

He goes on to say that children as young as seven are at working in hazardous conditions and are risking their lives to supply products that save lives in this country.   There’s something very wrong about the NHS using tools that have been made by child labour and even worse is the fact that the production of these tools involves serious risk to health.  No-one can fail to see the injustice.  It’s just another example of the West exploiting developing countries and it needs highlighting because as an NHS employee for almost twenty years, I wasn’t aware of it.  I always imagined big sanitised factories in Germany or Sweden, owned by fat corporate giants, manufacturing our medical equipment.  Naive I know.  Well, the fat corporate giants probably do own the business but they use cheap labour because it’s . . . cheaper.

Basically it’s wrong that the  medical health is having a detrimental impact of the health of people from poorer countries who are already disadvantaged and the Fair Medical Trade campaign is an excellent and compassionate move.  Well done guys.

To paraphrase Dr Bhutta . . . we owe a commitment to the people who help save British lives. Absolutely.  I wrote here about the need for a greener NHS and it’s high time that our beloved NHS became fully in control of its social and environmental impacts

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5 responses to this post.

  1. Unfortunately there’s a big frame to that piece of news. It isn’t only medicines, it is agricultural products as well. It is subsidies given by governments to agriculture in their own countries that make products grown in third-world countries dearer, which in turn makes them use human means that attempt at the principles that should be held by us in the so-called first world.

    And first-world corporations setting up businesses in the third world and using those human means contribute to slavery of children over there, the cheapest workforce.

    I agree with you, Earthpal, (as couldn’t be otherwise) but we are being dominated by people without any kinds of scruples. Our governments know the problem but our governments – who are there to uphold our civilised views – do not move a finger to stop the sacrifice.

    What can we do then? Just shout and shout every day more and more until the clamour is heard everywhere, and then see if our audience react in a positive way, because our experience may teach us they never do.

    Reply

  2. Jose, beautifully said. And I get frustrated at the inaction. But mostly at my own inaction. I shout and shout, write letters, sign petitions and boycott the goods involved. But that’s it.

    All we seem empowered to do is boycott the supermarkets that sell unethical produce and try to make people more aware.

    Reply

  3. You can do no more than you do, Earthpal. Conscious, responsible people have strong restraints because of their logical moral principles.

    Reply

  4. Posted by ders on March 2, 2010 at 9:01 am

    Hello EP, this has nothing to do with this post but i think you need to see this.
    http://www.paltelegraph.com/columnists/peter-eyre/4462-is-the-hollie-greig-story-getting-through-to-them-at-last

    Reply

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