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.
Friday October 26, 2007
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.
"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
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.
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
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