The effects of privatization of healthcare services have been widely criticized. In countries around the world, evidence is demonstrating that decades of increasing privatization of health has led to services that are of poorer quality, more expensive, and overall less accessible. Most often, the effects of privatization are unjustly felt by poor and marginalized populations who already struggle to access healthcare.

–Leigh Haynes, Baijayanta Mukhopadhyay in People’s Health Dispatch

What are the key nodes of power in the network of healthcare?


Which corporations and individuals are promoting privatization in countries with public and universal health systems?


What roles do former government employees play in the health care industry?

Privatization, financialization, and commercialization of health is increasing in countries all over the world. In countries in need of strengthened public health systems, governments and international financial institutions look towards private solutions to reach universal health care. In countries with robust public health systems, such as in Europe and Canada, governments increasingly choose to allow private actors to purchase and administer aspects of the health system rather than bolster public health services. These decisions are made even as increasing evidence shows that the private sector engagement in healthcare contributes to a widening health equity gap.

Extracting more and more profit from the health care system–at the expense of people’s health–becomes possible as democratically controlled public health systems are opened to private corporations. Their activities are increasingly unregulated and their complex operations are often hidden from regular people. This project aims to uncover the connections between directors of corporations, their relations to government, and private equity (such as hedge funds) that are driving the global proliferation of privatization, financialization, and commercialization of health.

What will you do as part of this project?

Research

Joining this project will link you up with activists–students, healthcare professionals, researchers–from around the world who are digging into the network of actors driving privatization and commercialization of health. As you gather information about these actors, you’ll add it to the LittleSis database. To direct the research you might think about these questions:

  • What other corporate boards do they serve on?
  • Have they worked in government?
  • What universities did they attend?
  • What political donations have they made?

Through these connections we will build up a network map of people, companies, government administrations, and other entities.

Collaboration

Group meetings occur once a month to conduct research and discuss results. You’ll spend about one hour researching and about 30 discussing any interesting findings and progress.

You don’t have to be an experienced researcher or have expertise in corporations or health systems to join this project. Others in the project who are experienced researchers and global health activists provide research guidance, tools, and tips.

What’s our goal?

We want to inform people about what’s happening to our healthcare system and mobilize more people to change it. With our research, we will be able to identify the tactics that private actors use to dismantle efforts at building and strengthening public healthcare systems. The information we find will inform campaigns at the local and global levels on who should be the targets of their actions and what their demands should be.

If you would like to learn more information about or join this project contact Leigh.

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