Skip to content

Sicko…

July 10, 2007

SICKO
Director: Michael Moore
Genre: Documentary
Theme: Universal Health Care System

Let me begin with a confession that I incidentally bumped into this movie through one of the websites which was offering movies for free downloads. This more or less equates to the fact that I have committed Piracy but then you will have to agree that by the time this movies makes it all the way to India…well, I don’t know how long I would have to wait.

So, what’s this whole documentary from Michael Moore about which made quite a lot of news in this year’s Cannes Film Festival? After his immensely successful documentary “Farenheit-9/11”, Michael Moore, this time chooses to talk about the Health Industry of US. The documentary traverses the lives of several Americans who have faced health problems and couldn’t get any Medical Treatment because they don’t have Health Insurance. And on top of that, the documentary also deals about the problems of those who have inadequate health insurance. Filled with interviews from people affected and also people who are in health insurance business, the film talks a great deal about several issues. In some of the startling revelations, there’s a huge list of diseases or conditions under which a person cannot be insured, and also an insurance application is denied with the Chief Doctor’s Computer generated signature sent to the patients without the knowledge of the doctor.

To compare how countries like Canada, UK and France are doing on the health front, we are transformed into the lives of citizens of respective countries all of which have a National Health Scheme under which patients are treated for free. Each country has it’s own story as to how this NHS started and how it’s being carried out in their country. To give a more natural feel to the health benefits that they supposedly have, in France, Michael Moore talks to the Americans living in Paris. He comes to know that medical care is free, the workers have 5 weeks of paid holidays, there’s a doctor at your doorstep in less than 30 minutes you give the system a call in any part of the day/night and so on. When asked, what would happen if the government tried to stop this scheme, the answer is a mass “Revolution”. Irrespective of the political inclination, these countries have made this system work and perhaps that’s what is the bottom line of the film. If they can do it, then why not US?

If this is not enough, the film also focuses its attention on the attitude of some of the politicians like Ronald Reagan, who once quoted that socialised Medical Care would lead to Totalitarianism!!! And also lot many other politicians who vehemently protested against such a scheme…giving a clear indication that there’s a power health insurance group lobbying to continue the current health care in US. Towards the end of the movie, the attention is again on 9/11…just that this time it’s the Rescue workers who fell ill to various diseases and nothing has been done to help them from the Government’s side. So, the director arranges a boat and invites whoever wants to get medication in the Medical Facility of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; which allegedly houses some of the most dangerous criminals on Earth(It’s also shown that they get a far more better health care than any average American). But upon reaching the facility, there’s no response and the crew is forced to enter Cuba out of no choice. Cuba, one of the biggest enemies of US for over 4 decades, comes in as a big surprise for the Americans travelling along with Moore. When they visit a Pharmacy, one of the patient comes to know that a medicine which costs $120 in US, costs only 5 Cents in Cuba!…After that they check into a hospital where all the patients are given proper medication and also a treatment plan which they couldn’t afford in US.

Since the film is about Healthcare, Moore sticks strictly to this subject and doesn’t go into the economics of taxes and how much the Government spends on this scheme. Anyway, it’s an inspiring movie, a full 2 hour long, which will fill you with sympathy and the need to do a lot more for the community. I wonder, if we in India have a plan at all….all we hear are promises from politicians, and doctors going on strike because their demands aren’t met….patients dying every day for lack of medical attention!…I wish everyone watches this movie; even if there’s no action, I am sure it’s inspiring enough to do a bit more and also inspire others to do more. If you are under the impression that this can never be implemented in a country like India, perhaps there is hope…we need visionaries who can see this possibility, like Tommy Douglas of Canada, the man behind Medicare (Universal Medical Care). We need people, comprising doctors, politicians, communities who can cooperate among themselves in small areas and try this out and then it can be emulated across other regions. Remember, it takes thousands of drops of rain to drench everything which inturn pours into rivers and seas….

Watch it…it’s a terrific film!….For more reviews on this…click here

PS: There’s a very interesting article on this subject of healthcare in the The Hindu, July 10th edition…by Economist, Paul Krugman…click here to read the article

Advertisements
No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: