EDINBURGH (Sputnik), Mark Hirst – A new trade deal, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), negotiated between the United States and the European Union, is being done for the exclusive benefit of global corporations and not for the benefit of ordinary citizens, Secretary of Keep Our NHS Public campaign in Lambeth Gay Lee told Sputnik on Thursday.
Keep Our NHS Public is an independent organization in the UK that is committed to reversing the privatization of the National Health Service (NHS) in the country.
"TTIP is being negotiated for the benefit of big business and global corporations on both sides of the Atlantic with the assistance of the EU and US governments," Lee said. "It's certainly not being done for the benefit of citizens of either side."
But Lee said that exemptions included in the document did not leave many vital NHS services, which are currently free at the point of delivery, safe from the private corporations that will gain access to the NHS if the deal is agreed by EU leaders and the United States.
"It is extremely difficult to see how this section of the leaked 'initial offer' within the TTIP negotiations can give any assurance at all to Keep Our NHS Public — or to any other organization concerned about the slow but sure destruction of the NHS," Lee told Sputnik.
"It describes exemptions for publicly-funded services or those receiving state support yet mentions exemptions to this, including medical, dental, midwifery, nursing, paramedical and physiotherapy services," Lee added. "This doesn't leave much left which is safe."
Lee said that even if exemptions were secured "on our terms" it was not enough to provide these solely for the NHS because many services are closely interlinked with other public services.
The National Health Service (NHS) was established throughout the UK following the end of the Second World War. The core principles of the NHS were to deliver health care free at the point of delivery to the patient and based not on ability to pay, but on clinical need.
Although the service operates throughout the UK, it is administered and funded independently in Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland.