Privatization linked to higher death rate in former Soviet Union
The British medical journal The Lancet has released a study that shows that rapid privatization of state industries in the 1990s led to significant increase in the death rate in the former Soviet Union.
Unemployment along with a loss of health care and other benefits were contributing factors according to the studies authors.
The authors of the study write that the rapid and widespread privatization of state industries in the former Soviet Union and Eastern bloc countries during the early 1990s increased the death rate 13 percent.
The researchers defined mass privatization as “a program that transferred the ownership of at least 25 percent of large state-owned enterprises to the private sector in two years by selling them with citizen vouchers and giveaways to firm insiders.”
As communism collapsed in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the former Eastern bloc countries saw dire health consequences: more than three million people died prematurely, according to the United Nations.