Hospitals: The White Mafia / Bisturi, la mafia bianca (1973)

3.0 out of 5

Patience with this procedure heavy hospital corruption exposé will be rewarded as lurking amongst the botched operations and dodgy financial dealings is a decent political drama as profiteering doctors are more hypocritical than Hippocratic as a public compassionate face masks a desire for prestige, status and money at the expense of the patient.

Among the jaw dropping negligence and corruption a terminal patient is sent home to improve statistics so he is not seen to die at a hospital for the rich.

Set against a backdrop of the nationalisation of the health sector under a Christian Democrat government the film, which should have an appeal to fans of more verbose police procedural type films and conspiratorial Euro-thrillers, stars La orca's Gabriele Ferzetti along with Senta Berger and Enrico Maria Salerno.

While probably mostly of interest to a particular niche audience this should, given a chance, win over more casual viewers who are prepared to forgo action and thrills for drama and intrigue.

Maurizio Merli header graphic courtesy of Paddy O'Neill of Foxyfide Graphics