The hospitals are production plants exactly in the same manner as the factories

From: SPK-Documentation Part I


It cannot be pointed out and emphasised enough that:

The hospitals are production plants exactly in the same manner as the factories are. There, the patient has to deliver anything he has produced: stool (faeces), blood, urine, gallstones, kidney stones, bladder stones, body parts, headache, hallucinations, hypertension, states of anxiety and restlessness, etc. These products are converted into doctors’ bills, laboratory bills, administrative costs, etc. This way, illness flows into the treasury and for the highest bid into the economic process. A tiny fraction returns to the patient in form of hospital equipment, medicines, health care costs, etc. The consumption of these consumer services yields new profits to the economy and the state. As an alienated object, the patient behaves outside this profitability cycle that is carried out with him, in a complete analogous way as does the factory worker, who receives just as much pay as he needs to produce his workforce. The illness he has produced is thus taken away from the patient for the purpose of its transformation into money – money becomes capital. What he takes home is by no means health but it is the same wear and tear he has brought already to the hospital, plus further and new damages during the course of the process of the capitalist therapy (drug side effects and hospitalism (psychopathological adaptation syndrome to the existing conditions, etc.)). In the same manner as in the factory, the product illness, i.e. complaints, symptoms etc., is realised and objectified lifetime, traded as the commodity human being, not different from the alienated products, that the entrepreneur takes away from the workers in the factory. If the sick person drops out of the capitalist exploitation and valorisation process because his illness is considered to be “incurable”, and that means nothing else than that it cannot be transformed into profit and capital, then, certainly, he has lost his significance as a producer also in the patient factories. It becomes evident and obvious to him what it means, as a sick person, to be nothing more than a consumer of „services“ in an abstract way. He is either no longer admitted to stationary treatment in a hospital, has lost his right to a medical treatment funded by the National Insurance Board, is dumped – for life – in the corner of some state psychiatric hospital, or, in his dwelling environment, he is exposed to the reprisals of his performance-minded fellows, who, certainly with loving care, are riding roughshod over him treating him as a sluggard, useless eater, or scapegoat. If he is not willing to let his illness be capitalised and organises himself together with other patients, then – if there is no other way – he is, as a not exploitable producer, excluded from the capitalist exploitation and valorisation process in the hospitals by the exercise of property rights. Who is not capable or willing to let his illness be exploited and valorised, is not allowed to the hospital, because the hospital solely has this one function – and this only had to be proved – to take away from him the illness he has produced in order to give way to another.

Every patient who wants to confront the ruling medicine consistently, should, by all means and through all official channels, force all those who have stolen from him his illness piece by piece to return to him its equivalent in form of the capital accumulated by his exploiters. Patients’ control practised consistently – and it must be practised consistently – must start at the point where no longer the patient is the one who pays the bills for the „services“, but the one who, in turn, presents the capitalist health system via its function holders the long overdue bill.

What matters is to unfold the contradictions of the institutionalised medicine from itself in the societal context, and it cannot be the point to globally and unconsciously welcome (cui bono? – welcome to whom?) and promote any „medical activity and any medical progress.” …


Socialist Patients’ Collective, 14.07.1970

 Translation: MFE Greece, MFE craencStw

Patients’ Front / Socialist Patients’ Collective, PF/SPK(H), 13.08.2017


The State of the World Is Illness. What Is to Be Done?

The Complete Concept of Illness

What we wanted to revolutionise so far?
Answer: the revolution, from our first beginnings up to the present day.