The NHS is much safer within the European Union, says public health expert ;
The NHS is much safer within the European Union, says public health expert today the BMJ .
Professor Martin McKee from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine argues that commercial international agreements of the EU, now also protect public services and do not warrant the UK withdraw from the EU.
Indeed, he warns that any threat to the NHS “comes from our own politicians and not the EU.”
Until recently, Professor McKee was one of many in the health community who were seriously concerned about trade and investment Transatlantic Partnership (TTIP) -. An international trade agreement designed to improve trade between the EU and the United States
His main concern was that public services such as the NHS would be opened to competition under TTIP.
This has now changed completely, McKee writes. “The health community, along with others, have given reasons for which public services must be protected. And those who trade on behalf of the European Union have had to listen.”
The position of the European Commission is now set to public, he explains. “And now we can see the European position, it is clear that many of our concerns have been taken into account. There are protections for public services, specifically health services, but also education, social services and police services . ”
Recent leaks have confirmed that the US It is pushing its own interests hard, but both the European Commission and the President of the European Parliament have made it absolutely clear that unless the Americans accept European protections for health services and public health there will be no agreement, duck.
Of course, some governments have opened healthcare to competition, such as that in England, writes, “but this is a matter of the governments concerned and TTIP still protects them from competition from providers outside the EU. ”
Outside the EU, a very weak UK would have to negotiate a separate agreement with the US, warns McKee.
The question for anyone concerned about the NHS should be what is more likely to protect him-those currently campaigning for Brexit – or a European Parliament which has made clear its commitment to protecting public services, you get to the conclusion?
Further information: Comments: Brexit: the NHS is much safer within the European Union www.bmj.com/cgi/doi/10.1136/bmj.i2489
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