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EU healthcare emergency amid medication shortages

Jerome Hughes
Press TV, Brussels

Due to a surge in respiratory infections, hospital emergency departments in many EU countries are currently being overwhelmed. Hundreds of drugs to treat winter-related illnesses are unavailable in most of the bloc's 27 nations. The crisis has been raised in the European Parliament.

EU inflation is very high because of energy sanctions against Russia. The production of drugs in the bloc has slumped because of rising manufacturing costs associated with inflation. China is a major supplier but relations between Brussels and Beijing have deteriorated.

Critics say as a result of following U.S. foreign policy, EU leaders have created a new health crisis by jeopardising global supply chains. A growing number of EU health workers are forced to stay at home after becoming ill themselves.

Experts say standards in health services across the EU vary greatly. Statistics show, a person in intensive care with COVID-19 in Luxembourg has a 65 percent chance of survival. In fellow EU nation Romania it's just 25 percent.

There are warnings that the current health emergency could get even worse.

It was left to Russia to fly in emergency medical equipment to Italy when COVID-19 first struck Europe. It's the type of cooperation we are unlikely to see again any time soon.

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