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Understanding privatisation’s impacts on health: lessons from the soviet experience
  1. D Stuckler1,
  2. L King2,
  3. A Coutts3
  1. 1
    University of Cambridge, Department of Sociology, Faculty of Social and Political Sciences and King’s College, Cambridge, UK
  2. 2
    University of Cambridge, Department of Sociology, Faculty of Social and Political Sciences and Emmanuel College, Cambridge, UK
  3. 3
    University of Cambridge, Department of Sociology, Faculty of Social and Political Sciences and Magdalene College, Cambridge, UK
  1. Dr D Stuckler, University of Cambridge, Department of Sociology, Faculty of Social and Political Sciences and King's College, Cambridge, UK; ds450{at}cam.ac.uk

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If privatisation ever had a significant impact on health, it would show up in the former Soviet Union. Compare Margaret Thatcher the “Great Privatiser”, who privatized roughly 30 state-owned companies during her 11-year tenure, to Boris Yeltsin’s regime, which under the guidance of Jeffrey Sachs and World Bank economists,13 privatised over 15 000 large state-owned companies in less than 2 years. Such an episode of privatisation as that seen in Russia during the early- to mid-90s remains unparalleled in both its scale and its scope.4

Not all former Soviet countries took such a radical approach to privatisation. Many opted for a more gradual …

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