100 signatures reached
To: Minister of State for Trade & Investment, the Rt. Hon. The Lord Livingston of Parkhead and EU Trade Commissioner, Karel de Gucht
Protecting the NHS from the Trans-Atlantic Trade Partnership
To the Minister of State for Trade & Investment, the Rt. Hon. The Lord Livingston of Parkhead
We call on the Government of the UK to exempt health services from the TTIP negotiations.
To the EU Trade Commissioner, Karel de Gucht
We call on the EU commissioner to exempt all health services from the TTIP negotiations.
Why is this important?
We know that the NHS continues to be under tremendous threats from the neo-liberal policies of the current and previous governments. The transition from an affordable and patient focussed public service to the present day when it has been broken up into small pieces and sold off is well documented. Politicians seem to think that they know best and are unwilling to listen to views contrary to their own, witness the infamous ‘pause’ announced by Lansley during the passage of the Health & Social Care Bill.
Now comes the greatest threat to our ailing NHS. TTIP, the Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership, being negotiated in secret, includes the trade in services introduced in the Uruguay round of GATT talks. Our government, which claims to stand for transparency, is supporting these secretive talks. It is no accident that Cameron stepped in to push through the Health & Social Care Bill. He needed that legislation to be in place ready for the TTIP negotiations.
Large American health corporations are already lining up to break into the UK health market and other health markets in Europe (I use the term market because the public service emphasis in UK health care has been ripped to shreds by successive governments). These are the same corporations that have created the most expensive, inequitable and inefficient health provision in the industrialised world. These giant corporations are good at winning contracts but poor in providing care based on clinical need and not the ability to pay. The Negotiations also include the provision of secretive courts that Corporations can use to sue governments if they think their profits are threatened. There is also evidence that even if they undertake medical procedures, if those procedures become more difficult (threatening profits) the patient will be despatched to the local public hospital. They are not really interested in complex and unpredictable health issues because they are more expensive to provide.
In the UK, we have witnessed the most appalling destructive rhetoric from the Government. It has spoken with a proverbial ‘forked tongue’, undermining the work of the NHS and the morale of staff who work in the NHS.
This petition is aimed at the link between the NHS and TTIP. It is intended to make it clear to politicians and EU staff that we will do all we can to prevent our health service from falling into the hands of large, unelected, unaccountable corporations for who profit comes first and patients, their families and health care staff come a very poor second.
‘The Plot Against the NHS’ by Colin Leys & Stewart Player
‘NHS SOS’ ed. by Jacky Davis & Raymond Tallis
‘NHS plc’ by Allyson Pollock
Papers written by John Hilary (Executive Director of War on Want)
Various papers published by Open Democracy