Your correspondent went to the movies last weekend and was flabbergasted, after sitting through the glitzy Coca Cola commercials, to see and hear 3 big privately-owned healthcare companies pumping out all sorts of stories, with lots of beautiful people, on how they will care for us with the world’s best doctors and nurses.
Of course this is completely fabricated nonsense devised to mislead us into thinking that private care is always better than public care…
Finland’s public social- and healthcare service providers have enabled Finland to have one of the lowest cost and most advanced social- and healthcare systems. Finland compares extremely favourably with all of the OECD countries in terms of social- and healthcare, (OECD 2017)
The drive to privatise healthcare that the Conservative Party (Kokoomus) has been driving has been related to highly paid new job opportunities for party members and kickbacks to the party from these same companies. Neither of these reasons are necessarily good for taxpayers, unless you really do believe that the private sector has a monopoly on efficiency!
There is absolutely no doubt that the public sector can always be more effective in the management of public services, but the wholesale destruction of public sector services is not a desirable end in itself.
Private companies, especially those owned by private equity investors have only one primary long-term interest – they want to maximise short term profits for shareholders.
Healthcare is just one sector they see as ripe for milking. Many doctors and nurses, with many exceptions (thanks goodness), want more money for less work. Just look at the ridiculous situations where doctors are not applying for work at municipal healthcare centres, that are then forced to employ the same doctors through much more expensive employment companies. That is a lousy deal for the public sector, but once the avalanche starts the public sector is held at ransom.
The rapid advance of the big private companies into the healthcare sector supported by the Conservative Party is another big factor limiting the availability of healthcare professionals in the pubic sector.
These private equity boys and other private shareholders know exactly what they are doing when these advertisements are being produced and broadcast on the big screens. There is very little altruism in how these people and their political friends operate.