Viewpoint: President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski Godard

I seek a social revolution for my country. I want Peru to become modern, equitable and independent within four years. This means that increasing the income of the poor must solve inequalities between the rich and the poor. This can be achieved by improving access to essential services that are currently insufficient or non-existent – and therefore expensive for the most underprivileged – by closing gaps of access to health care and social security, and placing citizens’ well-being as the fundamental objective of any change or reform.

To be a modern country means to be honest. This entails recuperating significant resources for everyone’s budget, alongside establishing an agenda of priorities that is based on common interest instead of bribes. To achieve this, we need a leader that is committed to the fight against corruption. Hence, I will not tolerate – especially among my public servants and closest collaborators – falling into the indignity of fraud. Those who do will face justice. We also need a special authority dedicated to the fight against corruption, with the independence and autonomy required to carry out its goals, and which also works closely with Congress. Further, our society must be committed to the fight against corruption so that it is denounced; I invite everyone to fight with me against this burden.

To be a modern country means to erase discrimination. Let us be aware that we are a millennial country and a cradle of civilisations, with a 196-year-old republic and thousands of years of history. And as part of this history, our cultural and civil roots have been neglected and marginalised. Change is under way, but it must happen more quickly and more profoundly. To be a modern country means to offer equal opportunities for both genders; to have unlimited respect for women’s dignity and rights to a full life, equal pay, and to their political participation in decision-making and in government.

In 2021, the bicentennial year, all Peruvians should have 24-hour access to potable water and a sewage system. Nevertheless, it is important to remain realistic and acknowledge that public investment programmes take time; it would be a great success if we can achieve this within seven years. I invite the Parliament and the people of Peru to develop a state policy that makes sanitation and health care available to every home in Peru.

I am aware of the cost of this, but I also know the impact it will have on the well-being, quality of life, health and savings of the poor. It will generate tremendous activity in construction and services, creating thousands of jobs. We will seek the best technological alternatives for the state to be able to reach everyone as soon as possible. There is no time for ideological arguments because four years is a short period for such a herculean task, which should involve everyone.

We will work intensely on public health because without health care services, there cannot be development. We want to simplify and make health care services more efficient. We will have a national health care system that is both modern and universally accessible. By 2021 I want anaemia in children to be eradicated completely, and for every child to have access to health care and all vaccinations. The country cannot afford to lose its citizens – or any great mind – just because he or she did not receive the necessary vaccines, proper feeding, social services or help for teenage pregnancy. We will fight against tuberculosis, AIDS, mental health problems, family violence and cancer.

We will rely on our doctors, nurses and all public health personnel, who often carry out the job of saving lives in very difficult conditions. We will support them and their efforts to improve working conditions and pay, so we can further rely on them to reach the most remote parts of the country that the state sometimes cannot contact. My strong commitment to public health in rural areas comes from my childhood. The memory of my father, a public health doctor who practiced his profession in the most inhospitable places in this country, bringing dignity to the marginalised sick, has accompanied me throughout my life.