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Exclude health sector from trade treaty, doctors urge


22 June 2015

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The transatlantic trade and investment partnership (TTIP) was designed to meet the interest of private corporations, doctors said today.

Negotiations are currently taking place between the EU and United States about TTIP but there were fears voiced today that it will commercialise the NHS.

One concern was that it could provide companies with the legal means to encourage commercial involvement in the NHS and allow corporate appeals to overturn public health policy.

The transatlantic trade and investment partnership (TTIP) was designed to meet the interest of private corporations, doctors said today.

Negotiations are currently taking place between the EU and United States about TTIP but there were fears voiced today that it will commercialise the NHS.

One concern was that it could provide companies with the legal means to encourage commercial involvement in the NHS and allow corporate appeals to overturn public health policy.

Leading the debate, Dr Gregor Venters, a GP from Edinburgh, said that “TTIP seems set up to help big business. Private corporations could use the process to bully governments into dropping legislation to improve food standards for example. It will have a deleterious effect on public health and make privatisation of the NHS not only possible but probable. The least we can expect is the exclusion of health and social care and public health policy from the process.”

The Scottish doctor called for health and social care services and public health to be removed from TTIP negotiations.

Another key concern raised during the debate was that the treaty threatens the NHS’s ability to provide high quality healthcare to all, regardless of wealth, by facilitating the further commercialisation of the NHS.

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