The race to battle COVID-19 and secure personal protective equipment, ventilators and vaccines, aggravated by both nationalist monopolistic policies and the rise of new variant strains, has highlighted the vital need for global cooperation. Current transnational policies exacerbate existing disparities across Mediterranean states in a context where the European Union is struggling to meet its own healthcare-related needs and many countries in North Africa and the Near East are burdened with economic hardships and internal strife. How are current economic systems impacting the abilities of states and societies to care for themselves and others? What are the inequalities that underpin the unequal exposure and unequal access to healthcare across Mediterranean states? While exposing deep disparities across the region, the pandemic could also be transformed into an opportunity to re-evaluate public health policies, contributing to build a truly cooperative, equitable and sustainable public health system in the Mediterranean basin.
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