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NHS 'not for sale' boards go up in protest at international trade talks


Campaigners are to erect estate agency-style boards across the country today, as part of protests against a controversial trade deal.

Houses in nine constituencies will display the boards opposing the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which is currently being negotiated between the European Union and the United States.

“It’s time to take the ‘for sale’ sign down from our hospitals and GP services and put our cherished NHS back into public hands”

Brian Colman

Groups, including the Royal College of Nursing, have previously claimed that the deal would lead to more privatisation of health services and argued that the NHS should be excluded from any agreement. In the latest move, campaign group People’s NHS has erected “stop the sale” boards.

Spokesman Brian Colman said: “Thousands of households across the UK are delivering a clear message by raising ‘stop the sale signs’ outside their homes in protest over the sell-off of their health services and David Cameron’s refusal to veto the NHS from the dangerous trade deal called TTIP.

“David Cameron never told us on the campaign trail in 2010 that his party was going to embark on the mass privatisation of the NHS. The government had no mandate to sell off the NHS,” he said.

“This is a clear message to our MP and to the government that it’s time to take the ‘for sale’ sign down from our hospitals and GP services and put our cherished NHS back into public hands,” he added.

The government has continued to play down any threat to the NHS. It insists the trade deal will open up huge business opportunities, especially for smaller firms, boost the economy and create new jobs.

A Department of Health spokesman said: “TTIP cannot force the UK to privatise public services and this government would not allow TTIP negotiations to harm the NHS.”



Readers' comments (4)

  • tinkerbell

    Good news. Hopefully this will help raise awareness of the consequences of TTIP.

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  • I contacted my local Conservative MP a couple of months ago about TTIP and the NHS. I have a written reply, ensuring me the NHS is safe from this trade-off. It still seems to be an ongoing issue, so I hope the response I have is genuine.

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  • re-above

    do you actually believe a tory mp!!!!!!!

    if this was true why has'nt david cameron removed the nhs from this trade deal????

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  • What is the NHS? The model developed by government (of each colour) is the creation of commissioners who form the core of the service. Providers of services are either Trusts, General Practices, Community Interest Companies or part-funded Charities. The CICs are companies working under contract: aren't they open to competition? Isn't that the reason they have been promoted in the first place? How else would companies such as Virgin enter 'the NHS market'? Either I am misunderstanding something here or someone is lying. As I see it, if you define the NHS as the commissioning element only, that will be safe: everything else has to be subject to competitive bidding.

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