DispatchesPremier :: 1987-10-30
on Channel 4
Genre :: Documentary
As Britain gets fatter, Channel 4 Dispatches investigates what the real cost is to the nation. The programme follows the treatment of some of Britain's morbidly obese patients to reveal the spiralling cost to the NHS. Having to spend money on everything from bigger chairs and beds to expensive medication and dialysis means obesity is now costing the NHS over £5 billion a year. One solution could be weight loss surgery, a procedure that could transform up to 250,000 people's lives and save the taxpayer huge amounts of money. But Dispatches reveals that NHS England's reforms, intended to create uniform access to life-changing, money-saving operations, are in fact expected to lead to fewer rather than more procedures, a situation that could cause misery to some of the country's sickest patients.
Free Online Links To Watch Dispatches
More than 200 children convicted of fighting for the Taliban are currently being held in special prisons across Afghanistan. Their crimes include the laying of improvised explosive devices, ambush and the preparation of suicide missions. Dispatches has had unique access to meet the captured child fighters, to document their experiences and tell their stories.
Fifteen-year-old Hanan comes from a line of guerrilla soldiers; his father fought for the Taliban, his grandfather for the Mujahadeen. He took up arms after his father was killed in a NATO air strike and, as a young teenager, Hanan went on to command his own cell of child combatants.
He is serving a two-year sentence after surrendering during a shoot-out with government forces. Like many of these children Hanan has had little formal education, and has only been schooled in a madrasa. Despite attempts made within the prison to provide learning and change his mindset, Hanan is unrepentant.
As well as visiting two of these prisons, award winning film-maker Najibullah Quraishi travels to an orphanage in Helmand province. Here he meets 10-year-old Neaz who was seized by the Taliban to perform a special mission, after his entire family was killed in a NATO bombing raid.
Neaz describes how the Taliban members who abducted him tried to persuade him to become a suicide bomber, but he escaped during the night, walked toward the nearest town and handed himself in to police.
Children of the Taliban offers a unique perspective on the ongoing conflict and raises important questions about the legacy of western intervention in Afghanistan.
After 12 years of bitter fighting and with the insurgents proving a resilient enemy, when NATO pulls out are we leaving behind another traumatised generation destined to continue the conflict?
Watch Gordon Brown's Missing Billions
In an edition from 2005, economist Andrew Dilnot looks at where Gordon Brown's policies have gone wrong, and examines the consequences for all of us. Brown's misjudgements, Dilnot warns, are something we will all ultimately have to pay for.
Watch Series 22 Episode 1
More than a decade after producing The Dying Rooms - a powerful film about the neglect of abandoned babies in Chinese orphanages - the same award-winning team returns to a very different China, where the infamous One Child Policy has created the horrific side-effect of a boom in stolen children.
It is estimated that 70,000 children are kidnapped in China every year and traded on the black market. This special Dispatches programme features extraordinary access to those directly involved, including devastated parents desperately searching for their stolen son, a man who brokers the deals and has sold his own offspring, and prospective parents grappling with giving up their soon-to-be-born daughter.
Beautiful, haunting and deeply tragic, this film takes us into the heart of modern China - a place where girl babies are being sold for as little as £200, detectives specialise in finding kidnapped children and child traffickers buy and sell human lives. The film provides an intimate portrait of the crisis that this stringent government policy has created among China's poorest people.
Watch Series 27 Episode 1
Beneath the Veil follows freelance journalist Saira Shah as she travels covertly through her father's homeland of Afghanistan. Visiting major towns and small villages, Shah's journey reveals how the fundamentalist Taliban regime affects the lives of ordinary people.
This award-winning film, filmed in late 2000 and early 2001, is a devastating portrait of a country savaged by war and religious extremism, where journalists are no longer welcome, and where the rest of the world seems as distant as another planet.
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