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Pathological Privatisation

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John C      19 February 2019

It is nice to know that governments are so concerned that we don’t pay too much for the services that are funded by the taxes that we pay!
And pigs might fly. The pigs in government are hard at work ensuring that their mates in the private sector get a slice of the public services which are profitable.
The South Australian (SA) government has in its sights SA Pathology Services.
SA Pathology provides a comprehensive high-quality medical diagnostic pathology service to medical practitioners and hospitals (public and private). It services both the Adelaide metropolitan and regional areas, and has convenient easily accessible sample collection points for patients. Diagnostic testing is carried out in a timely and high quality manner to meet the needs of those awaiting their pathology results. The service operates 24 hours a day.
This service is provided without cost to the patient.
Furthermore, it carries out world-class medical research and is staffed by highly qualified and experienced medical and scientific experts who are motivated by the public good.
Sounds too good to be true? Sounds like something you would expect in a socialist country?
The government thinks so too.
It has set up a so-called “SA Pathology sustainability project” to look into factors such as “consolidation of services”, “business delivery model”, “work profile”, “cost consciousness” and more. With all this it is seeking to make cuts of $150million over the next 3 years. We all know that this is code for attrition of service to the point where SA Pathology becomes unviable as a government-funded entity.
In order for the capitalist system to continue, it must produce ever-increasing profits. This involves cutting the costs of making this profit as much as possible. For example, by reducing workers’ wages to the minimum allowable.
these avenues are exhausted, another strategy is to increase market share of the product or service that the capitalist is involved in. This can be done by swallowing up a competitor (“one capitalist kills many” - Marx).
The other is to access previously inaccessible markets, such as profitable government enterprises.
This is where SA Pathology comes in. There are a number of private pathology service providers in Australia and the bigger ones are listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. These include companies such as Healius, Sonic Healthcare and Healthscope. Companies such as these must produce more and more profit in the ways indicated above in order to survive.
They would love to get their hands on an entity such as SA Pathology or the market it services.
It is the job of governments as administrators of capitalism to deliver the means for achieving this, whether or not they are asked directly by a specific industry to do so.
The SA government has indicated that outsourcing the work of SA pathology is a “possibility”. This is a segue leading to privatisation and softening up people into accepting it.
Services such as SA Pathology are a fine example of the type of guaranteed essential services that would be provided under a socialist system. Certainly every effort would be made to ensure that these operate effectively and efficiently but they would not be allowed to fall into the hands of private ownership where the motive is to make profit rather than to improve the lives of people.
This is where the relations of production in society differ between socialism and capitalism, with socialism being the superior model. The capitalists know this, which is why they incessantly drum into people the false notion that socialism is not an alternative system to be considered because it is, according to them, an inherently repressive system.
This propaganda is just delaying the inevitable replacement of capitalism by socialism. It must be acknowledged that mistakes were made in the past and are still being made in the implementation of socialism. However, the crucial role of sustained sabotage by the forces of capitalism must also be acknowledged as the real cause for the interruption of people’s first attempts at socialism. As a species, we are now in a far better position to implement a socialist system with the hindsight of previous experience and the organisational tools we now have.
People are not idiots. Especially the increasing number of young people who have access to the tools for sifting through information that enables them to seek the truth and who think critically.
Hands off SA Pathology!
No more privatisation!
Seek truth from facts!
Towards socialism!


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