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Further Developments in 1997

The FBI and other government agencies were very active during 1997 and a large amount of information became available about Columbia/HCA, Kaiser, SmithKline Beecham, Tenet/NME and many other corporations. This material was supplied to relevant persons and used to drive the arguments against corporate medicine. An attempt was made to analyse the social, corporate and political processes at work as well as to examine the psychology of corporate success. The theses is advanced that the misuse of language to create a false reality is central to corporate dysfunction and that this extends to current political philosophy. Decisions are made within a single paradigm rationalising or denying insights developed within alternate paradigms.

During the second half of 1997, following the US wide raids on Columbia/HCA hospitals a large number of US documents were circulated and a number of documents and letters were written arguing against corporate medicine in Australia. This section contains some of the documents used to lobby the issues. The arrival of Sun Healthcare in Australia lent some urgency to this.

These documents included

News Clippings 1997
A set of Press reports and other documents. These describe subsequent developments involving Columbia/HCA including the FBI raids in July 1997 and the US reports analysing the processes at work. Tenet/NME's $100 million settlement with the patients who were the victims of its practices is descibed. Past patients describe what happened in these hospitals. The material illuminates court settlements and the conduct of a variety of other companies including Kaiser, OreNda, SmithKline Beecham, Aetna, the US Senate Inquiry into aged care and a number of other matters.

Corporate Medicine - I told you so
This refers to the revelations about Columbia/HCA and I use it to show that the assertions I made about corporate health care, and illustrated using Tenet/NME documents were well founded. The same practices flourished in Columbia/HCA and other corporations. I draw attention to similar conduct and psychological profiles in non medical businesses and their executives in Australia to show how vulnerable we are.

Hospital licences for corporations
When Columbia/HCA indicated the changes it was making to its policies, I used this tacit admission to once again urge changes to our regulations and the FIRB process. These were the matters I had been writing about for years. There is additional
information about this in the submission about Sun healthcare

Corporate Medicine in Australia
This was written in an attempt to analyse the processes at work linking what was happening in the USA and Australia to the economic rationalist ideology of our times and the psychology of corporate executives. I suggest that a form of dysfunctional Social Darwinism operates. I suggest that health care exposes all of the deficiencies in economic rationalist thinking and that it is the rock on which economic rationalism can be made to founder.

The New World of medicine - Quotes
The vast volume of material is overpowering. I therefore selected short segments from corporate documents, the statements of corporate founders and of stockbrokers, extracts from press reports and then from US and Australian social critics of our times such as Saul, Kuttner, Cox and Rees. These are intended to support my arguments and link the dysfunctional behaviour in health care to the issues and ideologies of our era.

A call to action by US health professions
There has been mounting unhappiness among doctors and nurses in the USA. The call to action reproduced here was signed by over 2000 health professionals and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in December 1997. It states very clearly the concerns which thinking and ethical health care providers have about what is happening in that country.

Corporate medicine goes international
This page lists and comments on documents which illustrate the pressures on corporate medicine in the USA. The response to corporate pressures is illustrated by articles which describe international opportunities and the advice of international health care consultants. These are illuminating of the disturbing corporate patterns of thought and the way they are applied in health care. We should carefully consider the implication for trusting sick citizens should our government allow their care to come under the control of individuals who think like this.

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Put on www March 1998 -
Last modified October 1998 J.M. Wynne -