Have a heart: Don’t privatise IJN

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Aliran is alarmed that the Barisan Nasional is in the final stages of negotiations that would allow Sime Darby to acquire a stake in the National Heart Institute (IJN). Since the negotiations are in the final stages, it would mean that the deal has been in progress for some time. But the public has been kept in the dark as though they have no interest in IJN.

Aliran takes objection that the BN is unable to carry out privatisation projects in an open and transparent manner thus deliberately denying the public from putting across their views. Since the privatisation of this healthcare facility is going to affect the public, especially economically disadvantaged groups, in a big way, shouldn’t there be more debate and discussion so that public interest will not be sacrificed?

Privatisation means greed and profit for the corporate world while it means deprivation and denial of quality healthcare for the poor. Privatisation means escalating costs which will put this facility beyond the reach of  disadvantaged groups. This has been the sad story of our privatisation – giving in to the rich and depriving the poor.

The BN is allowing an essential service, which should be made available to all and sundry, to be turned into a business venture that will cater to the needs of the privileged.

We have no faith in whatever assurance that is being dished out stating that the needs of the poor will be taken care of. Ultimately it will be nothing more than charity given to the limited few while the large majority will be languishing in their misery.

READ MORE:  Rise of the business-state

Aliran calls upon the BN government to have a heart and stop the privatisation of this essential health care facility. There is no valid reason to turn IJN into a business concern serving the rich.

P Ramakrishnan
President
19 December 2008

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