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‘The Dirty War on the NHS’: John Pilger on privatization, profits and the impact on patients (E827)

On this episode of Going Underground, we speak to legendary journalist and filmmaker John Pilger about his film ‘The Dirty War on the NHS.’ He discusses the issue of the film not being allowed to air during the general election, and questions the role of OFCOM as a regulator. He also speaks about the negative impact of management consultants, how the Health and Social Care Act of 2012 opened the door to NHS privatization, how privatization causes money to be wasted in the NHS despite more funding promises, and the reality of the private healthcare system in the US. Pilger also discusses RAM volunteering in America, the 2019 UK general election, the reason why Brexit has been taken over by the extreme right since 2016, anti-Semitism allegations against Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party, allegations of BBC bias against Labour in the election, and more!


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Ofcom spokesperson: “Ofcom is a post-broadcast regulator. We do not ban programmes or decide when they are transmitted. We have long-standing rules to ensure that all broadcasters are duly impartial on matters of major political controversy and current public policy. Those rules apply at all times, not just during election periods.”


“Virgin Care has not to date made a profit. In fact, the Virgin Group - far from taking out profits from the NHS - has actually invested more than £60 million across England in the health and care services it delivers, supporting doctors, nurses and allied health professionals, reducing waiting lists and partnering with the NHS to secure services for the future.

“In addition, Richard Branson has pledged that if we do make any future profit over that investment, he will not take a dividend and instead invest this in NHS and local authority services, with frontline colleagues deciding how.”