David Byrne

David Byrne, a former European commissioner for health and consumer protection, has joined the international advisory board of Fleishman-Hillard International Communications. (February 2008).

Source: David Byrne, Admiral Vernon Clark, and Sir Christopher Meyer Join Fleishman-Hillard’s International Advisory Board, Fleishman-Hillard press release, 22/02/2008

David Byrne left his European Commission position in October/November 2004 and four months later joined the legal firm Wilmer Hale to "to counsel and represent the firm and its clients, in Washington, London and Brussels, on issues of European and international law and policy, particularly in relation to regulatory and enforcement issues with respect to science and technology."

Source: Former European Commissioner David Byrne Joins WilmerHale, Wilmer Hale press release, 01/03/2008

In 2005 he also became a patron of Health First Europe [http://www.healthfirsteurope.org/] a non-profit organisation which aims to "ensure that equitable access to modern, innovative and reliable medical technology and healthcare is regarded as a vital investment in the future of Europe. We call for truly patient-centred healthcare and believe that every European citizen should benefit from the best medical treatments available." If its sources of funding are considered it begins to look much more like an industry front group:

2006 Funders:
European Union of Private Hospitals - one of its objectives is to "To co-ordinate preparations for the free establishment of independent healthcare facilities in the Common Market, as well as the preparation of the internal market in the field of healthcare."
Euromed - UK supplier of SureStep, a leading brand of rapid diagnostics tests
European Federation of Public Service Employees
EDMA - represents the interests of in vitro diagnostic industry in Europe

2007 Funders:
European Union of Private Hospitals - see above
Euromed - see above
European Federation of Public Service Employees

Source: [http://www.healthfirsteurope.org/index.php?pid=71] 'About Us' page at Health First Europe's website.

Indeed, Health First Europe's secretariat is operated by the public affairs company Policy Action SPRL [http://www.policyaction.com/]. Policy Action's 'About Us' page reads :"Policy Action's expert public affairs work can help your business to understand US, EU and EU Member State governments, legislative solutions and critical decision-making processes.

Located in Brussels, London, Washington D.C. and Dublin, Policy Action provides a range of services to fit any business need for public policy solutions. The company prides itself in its ability to work with clients to safeguard their business interests and improve their competitive advantage."

Both Health First Europe and Policy Action share the same website icon.

Source [http://www.policyaction.com/index.php?page=about-us] Policy Action's website.
Source: [http://www.healthfirsteurope.org/index.php?pid=71] Health First Europe 'About Us' page.

In 2005 David Byrne contributed an essay entitled "The Future of Health "sans cordon sanitaire" in a collection of essays entitled "2050 A Health Odyssey: Thought Provoking Ideas for Policy Making" published by Health First Europe. His conclusion: "The future of global public health is a future not characterised by isolation, but by global cooperation, global governance and global partnership. The benefits of this cooperation in the future will lead to an overall more healthy society, characterised by enhanced economic output and reduced strain on public healthcare systems." Or, put another way, the promotion of more corporate involvement in the provision of healthcare. One need only look at the US model or the UK's Public Private Partnership program to see how much of a success private involvement in healthcare provision is.

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