Thursday, August 23, 2007


Frustratingly, Sicko, the latest Michael Moore film, this time on the state of US healthcare hasn't got a release date here in the UK. Drawing the parallels emerging between US and UK systems would be interesting, especially in the context of Moore's work.

Bednarz and Crawford have published their take on Sicko here. Below is an excerpt. This link with our environment and with peak oil needs more exploration. Greens generally understand the context of health with environment, as do public health clinicians, but we need to explore a second aspect of interaction, that of health care and environment.

From Bednarz and Crawford:
"In bare-bones, Moore wants to exclude insurance and pharmaceutical companies; he wants money out of the temple of medicine.

" Fine, and imperative; but we have some questions. First, as urgent and humane as it is to make medical care a right regardless of one’s of financial status, will this solve our healthcare problems? Second, how sustainable is the new medical system Moore envisions? Third, how do we overcome the behemoth structure now in place to institute genuine reform?

"We depart from Moore and the vast majority of reform proposals we've seen by locating health care in its ecological context, and assert that all three questions have an ecological answer. Since this will sound odd to many, let us repeat this in slightly different language: the economy, of which medicine is a subsystem, exists within and is wholly dependent upon the natural environment (also known as the ecology or the biosphere, among other designations). The ecology is not ancillary or subservient to the market economy; ultimately, it supplies the energy and resources necessary for human economic activity. "

Friday, August 10, 2007

Continued privatisation of the NHS

This week's Health Service Journal makes depressing reading. Despite rumours that the Brown government was getting cold feet about private involvement in the NHS, things seem to be continuing at a pace. This is a selection of the headlines this week:

Established GPs prepare to feel the heat of big business
GP tendering could herald new era of competition for practices
GPs urged to refer directly to the private sector
Acute trust to privatise all elective ops

4 out of 11 headlines from the first five pages of the journal are on privatising services...

So much for Brown's socialist principles.