Socialised healthcare or private pharma barbarism, that is the question

Trump: “I consider myself, in a way, a wartime president. This is a war we are waging; this is a very, very difficult situation. “

Merkel: “The situation is serious and the outcome is open”

Macron: “We are at war. In a war for public health of course, but the enemy is there, invisible, inconceivable. France has never made such a decision in peacetime. “

War sermons are a common choice for the ruling class in describing the difficulty of the situation but also in preparing the people to welcome the new harsh anti-labour measures. In all capitalist countries, developed and underdeveloped, confessions are raining down: health systems are collapsing. These are the same health systems of Germany, France, England, which a while ago, were enthusiastically presented as exemplary systems in order to convince that the problem is local, managerial and not systemic. Why did we get to this point in 2020, the period of the famous “4th Industrial Revolution”? Why now that the so-called “free democracies of the West” have overcome the “Iron Curtain” barrier, the countries that built Socialism?

The answer is obvious: capitalist anarchy in the organization of production is incapable of dealing with such situations, it simply cannot. Because it is profit, which is the driving force of capitalism and determines the solutions and not a scientific central planning of the economy that meets the needs of the working class.

The limited measures taken, at the present juncture, to strengthen the state health system should not deceive us. Any decisions made on the basis of “cost-benefit” are trapped in the grip of fiscal policy that serves the sanctity of private property.

Some examples:

• The unacceptable decision of the Greek Ministry of Health for the doctors to stay in quarantine for 7 days instead of 14! The argument; to protect the health system from collapse! They chose the largest exposure of unarmed doctors and nurses on the front lines of the battle!

• They did not proceed with the imperative of requisitioning private hospitals, their staff and their material infrastructure.

• Instead of distributing free of charge to the population all the necessary materials for its protection, they left it at the mercy of big business, profiteering and blackmailing. There is also the objective problem that they are unable to face: the inherent inability of the capitalist economy to meet such needs.

• Erratic measures for workers, the poor and self-employed on the one hand, a lot of money and incredible facilities for big business and banks on the other.

• Emphasising individual responsibility to cover up the lack of state responsibility.

A useful weapon of the system, even in these difficult conditions, is anti-communism. All in the name of prevention of “authoritarianism”. But the truth cannot be hidden!

The truth is that the health system in the states of socialist construction is an elusive dream for all capitalist states. The level of health and the free benefits to everyone seems like a lie for the generations that did not live in this period.

Let’s compare the following:

  • 30 years ago, there were over 1.1 million doctors in the Soviet Union, or 375 per 100,000 inhabitants, all in the state health system.

  • In the EU in 2014 there were 1.78 million doctors, ie 350 per 100,000 of which a large number were in the private sector while in the public sector a large part of the population did not even have access to healthcare.

  • In the USSR, healthcare was provided exclusively free of charge to the whole population, unlike in the capitalist countries

  • The fact that reveals the overwhelming superiority of Socialism is the hospital beds that corresponded to the population. The Soviet Union had 1,387 hospital beds per 10,000 inhabitants.

  • In the EU in 2014, there were 521 beds per 100,000 inhabitants!

  • From 1917 to 1923 there was an outbreak, of various types of typhus, cholera, smallpox, malaria and others. The Soviet state focused on fighting epidemics, through the
    cleanliness of public spaces, the improvement of working-living
    conditions, the mass vaccination and the education of the people.

  • In 1940 the health-anti-epidemic network numbered 12.5 thousand
    specialized doctors, 1,943 health stations, 1,940 bacteriological-epidemiological laboratories and 787 disinfection stations.

  • By ‪1937-38‬ the eradication of various species of typhus and smallpox was achieved, while malaria was eradicated in 1963.

  • In 1971, the disease from anthrax was decreased by 45 times, from typhoid fever (belly type and irregular) by 40 times, from pertussis by 53 times. Other diseases, such as diphtheria, polio and tularemia, were extremely rare.

The truth can’t be hidden, and the truth is that Capitalism has no problems. Capitalism is the problem.

The solution lies in Socialism!

Source: article by Alexis Matis

Member of the Board of “We who studied in Socialism” (“Students of socialism” association of Greek graduates from USSR universities) translated from Greek.

Other sources: The Great Soviet Encyclopaedia. “70 years of
USSR”-Publication Novosti. Everett M. Jacobs, “Soviet Studies”, XXII,
No1. July, 1970. William Mandel, “Science and Society”, Vol. 35, No 3,
Fall, 1971. Narodnow khoziastvo SSR v 1958 godu, Moskva 1959.