NHS should be exempt from EU-US free trade treaty, campaigners say

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: (Published 24 April 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g2876
  1. Adrian O’Dowd
  1. 1London

A petition calling for the NHS to be exempted from an agreement on free trade between the United States and the European Union is to be submitted to Prime Minister David Cameron and England’s health secretary, Jeremy Hunt.

The petition hosted by the campaigning organisation 38 Degrees calls on Cameron to ensure that the NHS is not part of the transatlantic trade and investment partnership (TTIP) treaty currently being negotiated.

The partnership, which has been under discussion since summer last year,1 is one of a series of proposed agreements to liberalise trade between wealthy nations and focuses on harmonising regulation and opening up markets, which can involve privatising public services.

Health policy analysts believe that the NHS in England will be one of the markets opened by the UK government to US corporations, helped by changes …

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