Article taken from the Rebel City website: https://rebelcitylondon.wordpress.com/
More than 50 GPs surgeries in London alone have been taken
over by the massive US Centene Corporation (1). And meanwhile, as Newham Save
Our NHS has been warning us for some time (2), NHS Digital is on track –
delayed until mid-September – to hand our medical data over to what they
describe as various health bodies, Universities, and indeed pharmaceutical
companies, all claiming to be acting in the interests of our collective health
and well-being (3).
How else is collective health to be advanced?
Wouldn’t an anarchist society do the same?
In an anarchist society the different bodies listed would be
cooperating genuinely for our health and well-being. In a capitalist society,
private health bodies, business-friendly University research, and
pharmaceutical companies operate for their share holders’ profit. Medical
research that can’t be profitable simply doesn’t happen!
Not surprisingly the plan for the CIA-founded Palantir data
giant to “administer” the project has met with threats of
court action – by Foxglove (2) and OpenDemocracy. The government
is “reviewing” the proposal, agreeing to public consultation etc.
Though whether they’re genuine, have figured out how to end up with the same
result anyway, or just hoping we’ll forget about it – you decide!
There is a more fundamental issue here which the increasing privatisation
of the NHS illustrates. Health in the UK is being turned from a halfway public
good to a straight-forward commodity. And data is the fastest growing market
around. Whether companies have to buy the data, or simply pay a processing fee,
is in the end irrelevant.
Capitalism’s relentless drive to turn everything we use and
need into a source of profit has to be fought every inch of the way.
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