Saturday, 13 September 2014

Hold ... Hoooold ... Raise the Lancets!

Forget the Hollywood tosh and schiltroms of pikes twice as long as a man. The most powerful argument for independence is wielded in The Lancet.

A threat though it is, the widespread privatization of NHS England is not the greatest threat to NHS Scotland. The greatest threat to not only NHS Scotland, but other Scottish public services is the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). This treaty, currently in negotiation by the US and EU would open up all public services to Corporate competition and give Corporations the right to sue a government if it doesn't open up all services to private competition.

Both the UK Tories and Labour, well known to be in the pockets of international corporations, support the TTIP and refuse to negotiate exceptions for our NHS. Indeed, David Cameron's man in Brussels working on the treaty, Lord Hill, is knee deep in healthcare privatization interests.

Foreign Affairs and International Trade are Reserved Powers under devolution. The Scottish Parliament can do nothing to protect NHS Scotland when the UK Government signs up to TTIP later this year and opens the door to selling off bits of our NHS. Only with the full powers of independence can we protect the jewel in the crown of our public services. For fairness, I should declare an interest. I work as a General Practice Manager in the NHS.