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The Brits are slowly getting a t ...

Posted Nov 10 2008 4:23pm

The Brits are slowly getting a taste of Kaiser as they privatize many of their hospitals...to make money?  BD 

For almost every PFI hospital built, three hospitals close. Bed closures and staff reductions occur on an unprecedented scale.

The paper had done its work. Its propaganda was cited and repeated everywhere by academics and policy-makers and, most crucially, by the government in its white papers and documents, including the Wanless Report. The much-despised US healthcare industry, of which Kaiser Permanente is a part, was to be the new model for Britain.

The film is very much made for a US audience. Moore does not go into the huge changes that are taking place in European healthcare - and the new, privatising project going on here. It might surprise many British people who see the film to know that, for example, the British government has for years been in contact with Kaiser Permanente, one of the big US healthcare corporations, and is actively trying to remodel the NHS along American lines. All the reforms carried out by the government over the past few years have been aimed at that.

In 1995, civil servants from the Department of Health, fresh from visits to the US, thought they had found the future of the NHS. They invited Kaiser Permanente to look at whether it could deliver health services as part of the new Private Finance Initiative in the NHS. The PFI is a building programme of public infrastructure that brings with it a long-term debt that the government takes out from a private company. But as the medical director of Kaiser Permanente, which is both an insurer and healthcare provider, told me at the time in her marbled headquarters in California, the NHS was not yet ready for Kaiser.

Allyson Pollock on what Michael Moore's new film, Sicko, doesn't tell you ... | Special Reports | Guardian Unlimited Politics

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