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Bringing Bad Things to Life The alliance between GE Medical Systems and NY- Presbyterian Hospital Martin Donohoe.

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Presentation on theme: "Bringing Bad Things to Life The alliance between GE Medical Systems and NY- Presbyterian Hospital Martin Donohoe."— Presentation transcript:

1 Bringing Bad Things to Life The alliance between GE Medical Systems and NY- Presbyterian Hospital Martin Donohoe

2 The Partners NY-Presbyterian Hospital one of the largest academic health care institutions in the U.S. one of the largest academic health care institutions in the U.S. GE Medical Systems Subsidiary of General Electric Subsidiary of General Electric $9 billion annual revenues $9 billion annual revenues

3 The Agreement 10-year, $500 million agreement requires NYP to purchase products and services from GEMS in exchange for purported discounts on medical supplies and the promise of enhanced technological standardization and simplification

4 General Electric World’s largest company by market share 2003 revenues of $134.2 billion Greater than the GDP of more than 2/3 of U.N. member states Greater than the GDP of more than 2/3 of U.N. member states 2003 net after-tax profits of $15.6 billion

5 General Electric Makes household appliances, plastics, lighting, and medical equipment Produces jet engines and military hardware Has built 91 nuclear power plants in 11 countries

6 General Electric Operates coal-burning power plants Major releasers of toxic mercury Major releasers of toxic mercury Operates a financial services group Owns a $43 billion media empire Including NBC, Telemundo, and Universal Studios Including NBC, Telemundo, and Universal Studios

7 GE’s History Conducted unethical human subject experiments on prisoners, involving testicular irradiation, from 1940s to 1960s Intentionally-released excessive radiation from its Hanford, WA nuclear reactor in the 1980s, to determine how far it would travel May have contributed to increased thyroid cancer risk in “Downwinders” May have contributed to increased thyroid cancer risk in “Downwinders”

8 GE’s Record America’s largest corporate polluter 75 Superfund sites nationwide 13 in NY

9 GE’s Record Between 1947 and 1977, two of its capacitor manufacturing plants dumped 1.3 million pounds of PCBs into the Hudson River Probable human carcinogens with adverse effects on liver, kidney, nervous system, and reproductive organs (EPA) Probable human carcinogens with adverse effects on liver, kidney, nervous system, and reproductive organs (EPA) 200 mi of Hudson Superfund site 200 mi of Hudson Superfund site

10 GE’s Record Has spent millions to avoid Hudson cleanup and to weaken or eliminate Superfund Law Contributes to corporate front groups Promulgate an anti-scientific and pseudo- scientific agenda Promulgate an anti-scientific and pseudo- scientific agenda Conduct media disinformation campaigns in an attempt to weaken health and environmental regulations Conduct media disinformation campaigns in an attempt to weaken health and environmental regulations

11 GE’s Record Tremendous influence of environmental, energy, and health policy Spent $31 million lobbying Congress, federal agencies, and Executive Office of the President in 2001 and 2002 Many member’s of board of directors have government ties

12 GE’s Record Has eliminated 150,000 jobs in last 15 years While receiving billions in federal contracts and millions in state and local subsidies While receiving billions in federal contracts and millions in state and local subsidies One of nation’s top out-sourcers of jobs

13 GE’s Record Continues to under-fund employee pension plan, despite very generous compensation packages for executives Continues to shift health care costs onto workers, despite growing profits

14 GE’s Record Cited by Human Rights Watch for “systematic workers’ rights violations” in the U.S. and abroad 858 OSHA workplace citations from

15 GE’s Record Topped 2002 Project on Government Oversight’s list of repeat offenders for defrauding U.S. taxpayers Paid more than $982 million in fines, judgments, and out-of-court settlements between 1990 and 2002 Paid more than $982 million in fines, judgments, and out-of-court settlements between 1990 and 2002 Financial services division fined $100 million for unfair debt collection practices and bankruptcy court malfeasance Financial services division fined $100 million for unfair debt collection practices and bankruptcy court malfeasance

16 GE and Corporate Taxes GE topped the list of corporate tax break recipients from : $9.5 billion in tax breaks $9.5 billion in tax breaks

17 GE’s Record In 1990s, Pentagon’s Defense Contract Management Agency created special investigations office specifically for GE Nevertheless, company has been awarded increasingly costly reconstruction contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan

18 GE’s Record The Patient Channel Shown in hospital rooms throughout country Shown in hospital rooms throughout country Advertising vehicle for drug companies Advertising vehicle for drug companies Criticized by JCAHO for manipulative marketing practices Criticized by JCAHO for manipulative marketing practices

19 Concerns About the Agreement Provides GE with financial incentives to promote high technology purchases Hospital prohibited from purchasing more effective equipment from other companies

20 Concerns About the Agreement Augments trend in academic medical centers to promote the use of expensive, high-technology care at expense of preventive care and public health measures Highly reimbursable Highly reimbursable Services may be redundant in certain locations Services may be redundant in certain locations

21 Concerns About the Agreement Occurs at time 45 million Americans uninsured Academic medical centers promoting luxury primary care clinics and seeking wealthy overseas patients while cutting back on services to the un- and under- insured

22 Concerns About the Agreement Academic medical centers becoming increasingly corporatized Research exclusivity contracts Research exclusivity contractsSecrecy gag clauses skewing of research agenda

23 Concerns About the Agreement Patients with developmental anomalies and cancers caused by GE’s pollution diagnosed with GE scanners and treated with GE- manufactured therapeutic devices, increasing GE’s profit

24 A macabre twist on “cradle to grave care”

25 Solutions NY-P should cancel agreement Health care providers and organizations should condemn this unholy alliance Medical and ethical organizations should develop standards regarding future agreements

26 Reference Donohoe MT. GE – Bringing Bad Things to Life: Cradle to Grave Health Care and the Alliance between General Electric Medical Systems and New York- Presbyterian Hospital, Synthesis/Regeneration 2006(Fall);41:31- 3 (abridged version – complete version available on website)

27 Contact Information Public Health and Social Justice Website


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