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Guardian gives SiCKO 5-star review  
Posted by David Storr October 26 2007, 15:41 » Uploaded 27/10/07 12:52  

Peter Bradshaw, in the Guardian today, gives Michael Moore's new film, SiCKO a 5-star rave review.

Peter Bradshaw
Friday October 26, 2007
The Guardian

Last week in this paper, Seumas Milne reported on the boa-constrictor-sized parasites of US private health insurance seeking to get their fangs into the British NHS. This magnificent new film from Michael Moore is a timely reminder of the grotesque mess that Americans have made for themselves with healthcare, and how insidiously easy it would be for the same thing to happen to us, little by little. Sicko is a full-throttle polemic, teeming with tremendous flourishes of showbiz sentimentality, gloriously outrageous stunts and exquisitely judged provocations. He shows how the American public - especially its hardworking middle classes - have been taken for mugs by the corporate fatcats of health insurance, particularly the inventors of an intensively marketed form of lower-priced insurance called the health maintenance organization, or HMO.

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Comment 01 – Ken Farrell October 27 2007, 14:14

"But isn't it obtuse to focus so excitably on what goes wrong with our health service, when so much more routinely goes right and when, incidentally, there are those with a vested interest in promoting these scare stories as an excuse for privatising it?"

I think Peter Bradshaw gets that exactly right. The same thing happened with the postal service and British Rail. There was (and still is for the post) no end of media coverage on the negative elements of these services, a softening up for privatisation?

And it is often down to anecdotal presentations, the worrying anecdotes about failures attracting the bulk of the coverage. My own anecdotes about the NHS are almost entirely positive, as are those of my friends and family. I was hospitalised for a long period in 2002, and prior to entering hospital I was scared out of my mind (I've always been squeamish around doctors and needles). But the reality came as a huge relief to me, and I've lost most of my fears due to the caring, dedicated nurses and doctors and the "ambience" of the hospital I was in (relaxed and civilised). And I didn't have to pay for it except through taxes.

My father has had all kinds of health problems requiring specialist treatments, and each time he's had some new treatment or operation scheduled, I ask if it's on the NHS. It always is, and I'm always amazed by this. So it's not something to take for granted, and it is good to know that at least some of our tax is being put to good use.

It's also exactly right of Media Hell to raise the issue of the PFI threat to the NHS. PFI schemes are basically parasitic in nature, a drain of public money into the private sector.

Comment 02 – Jean Tollett October 27 2007, 18:52

My experiences with the NHS have all been good, Ken. And as you say , the people there do a great job most of the time. When problems do arise it's poor management and lack of cash. It's sad to see its so-called "failures" used as a politcal football.

One thing worth bearing in mind though. You'd never have those terrorist doctors infiltrating the health service if it was privatised, as the security checks would be much better ;)

 

 

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