Doctors vote to stop NHS from being ‘privatised’ under global trade deal TTIP

Doctors are pushing the Tories to save health services from a global trade deal over fears it could destroy the NHS.

The TTIP treaty will open up trade between the EU and the US – but campaigners fear it’ll also let private firms take over the health service.

Campaigners say the deal will give private firms ‘market access’ and let them sue governments if they don’t get their way.

The treaty, whose full name is the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership,was even the subject of a stand-up protest by Ukip in the European Parliament.

Now the doctors’ union has voted overwhelmingly to create an exception for the NHS.

Edinburgh GP Dr Gregor Venters told the British Medical Association’s annual representative meeting in Liverpool: “TTIP seems set up to help big business.

“Private corporations could use the process to bully governments into dropping legislation to improve food standards.

“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.”

Dr Henry McKee, a GP from Belfast, was introduced to delegates as being against the motion – but told them it was because “it doesn’t go far enough”.

“Freedom of information requests of other countries which have entered into such agreements show exactly how damaging this treaty will be to both the social fabric and the health economy of this country,” he added.

“If there is anything resembling an NHS by the time this treaty is negotiated it won’t survive this treaty.

“The correct motion is to kill this treaty dead, not to tolerate it sneaking in and mugging us.”

All but one delegate voted in favour of urging the Government to remove health and social care services and public health legislation from the TTIP negotiations.

Prime Minister David Cameron has previously said there is “no way” the agreement would have any impact on the NHS.

It comes after BMA chief executive Dr Mark Porter warned the Tories are trying to ‘kid’ Britain into believing their unrealistic promise of a 7-day NHS.

He slammed Jeremy Hunt’s ‘old, repackaged’ pledges in a keynote speech to top medics from across Britain and said Tories have given nothing but ‘easy headlines’ and ‘lazy caricatures’.

The above article is from The Mirror. Find the original here.

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