I have written to both Prime Minister David Cameron and the Minister of State for Trade and Investment Francis Maude to urge them to exempt the NHS from the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).
Whilst many of you are aware that I am seeking to become the lead candidate for the Scottish National Party for Mid Scotland and Fife for Holyrood next year, I do not necessarily just approach this particular issue from a political perspective, but I also approach this issue from the perspective of a healthcare professional.
I passionately believe that NHS Scotland and the NHS in England, Wales and Northern Ireland must be completely protected from the potential consequences of TTIP. Patients who use the health service and personnel working for the NHS or who are providing NHS services stand to lose a lot if our health service is not fully immune from TTIP.
As a community pharmacist, I can safely say that Scotland has the best community pharmacy contract in the world, because the services on offer for patients have the capability to address the real health needs of our population and are doing so. The decisions made about what the contract looks like and how it should function could never have been properly made if decisions were affected by fears over litigation.
I’m not suggesting for a second that everything is perfect, but matters would definitely be a whole lot worse if the health service was not protected from TTIP. Decisions about Scotland’s NHS should be made within our own country and not be affected by other factors which don’t necessarily take the best interests of patients and staff at heart. And the same protection and respect of a country’s autonomy to make decisions should apply to each of the other nations of the rest of the UK and across every other country which could be affected by TTIP.
You don’t need to rely on politicos like me to raise the concerns of many people over the impact TTIP may have on the NHS. Please visit the People’s NHS website through this link for more information.
Scotland’s NHS should ALWAYS be in Scotland’s hands.