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From The Socialist newspaper, 20 February 2013

Free trade agreement means NHS privatisation

Early morning protest by domestics at Whipps Cross hospital against contractor Initial attempting cuts to pay and hours, photo Suzanne Beishon

Early morning protest by domestics at Whipps Cross hospital against contractor Initial attempting cuts to pay and hours, photo Suzanne Beishon   (Click to enlarge)

On 12 February top US politicians announced formal talks on a new EU/US free trade agreement. The same day health campaigners in Lewisham heard a speaker on the implications for the NHS of this and previous agreements.

Capitalist governments do the talking in trade agreements, but in the interests of multinational corporations.

The biggest monopolies have long demanded control - for profit - of present day public services such as education and health. They say they want liberalisation and harmonisation in the NHS, which sounds cosy, but Britain has already seen what this means in the Con-Dems' Health and Social Care Act.

Any new agreement would act to 'liberalise trade' in health services such as the NHS - in short, privatisation. We are already seeing a service based on improving health turning into a cash cow for bosses worldwide.

And they intend to stamp on any attempts to stop health facilities being privatised or to check the multinationals' activities. They want to give privateering firms the right to sue any government or section of government that limits their rights by refusing to hand over services, or introduce any laws that might, on purpose or not, limit future profits!

The workers' movement must support the struggle to save the NHS and demand that their leaders internationally tackle this drastic and undemocratic attack on our vital services. Privateers' hands off our NHS!

Roger Shrives

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In The Socialist 20 February 2013:


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