2007 - 2021

The NHS and the EU

We are in danger of being dragged out of the EU by a cabal of High Tories who have been squabbling about this for twenty years. It’s about their cultural insecurity and confusion about their role in the world. But the stakes for the rest of us are high.

This infographic outlines the key facts about the relationship between the NHS and the European Union. The group who produced it state:

“The UK’s referendum on EU membership takes place on the 23rd June, and one of the most highly-charged issues on both sides of the argument is the future of the National Health Service. While Leave campaigners believe the NHS will be in greater health outside the EU, recent government figures suggest that Brexit would result in a loss of £36bn a year, which could leave the NHS with a funding black hole.”

MEDIGO - NHS and the European Union: The Facts


Comments (9)

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  1. CM47 says:

    More statistics and so little meaningful discussion in relation to the EU and the NHS. In 2007, with no publicity, the DoH issued a document titled ‘Principles and Rules for Cooperation and Competition, running through which are EU legal positions which have become the law in the UK. The advisory body, the NHS Co-operation and Competition Panel, was set up in 2008, and is applying its interpretation of the law – by advising on NHS mergers and handling complaints about anti-competitive practices by hospitals and primary care trusts. The 2012 legislation for NHS England has deliberately been made compliant with CETA. The NHS Chief Executive, Simon Stevens, previously President of Global Affairs at the American private healthcare giant UnitedHealth, was founder member of the Alliance for Healthcare Competitiveness (AHC), a US lobby group pushing for the inclusion of health in TTIP. He also acted as a spokesman for the AHC’s pro-TTIP position. AHC state “Trade agreements should cover health are”. Not many are probably aware that this chief executive of NHS England is associated with such views. Barbara Castle claimed that the Common Market would be a vehicle for bringing about a market in the NHS. She was right on that front. It was originally envisaged that the NHS would stay outside the scope of EU law. This exclusion has been severely eroded. Of concern as well, is the gradual commodification of European health systems since the 80s. The extent of market changes have been hidden from people with most being unaware, especially as the NHS name is now a ‘brand’ and is used to fool us. Evidence from the Dutch, show that the Dutch competition authority had the effect of fragmenting service provision and impeding the provision of high-quality care. Dutch GPs (their association) were fined 7.7m euros for alleged anti-competitive behaviour. Trade Ministers in the EU also have a lot to answer for, including Lord Livingstone. Without even informing their parliaments, they wrote to Junker in 2004 demanding TTIP include ISDS. The EU-US drive to harmonise services has been critical to NHS reforms in England. NHS changes are seen by many as part of the preparation for the rise of corporate interests in the trade agreement. The wider international investment context of the NHS changes have not emerged as public information. The NHS Health and Social Care will prepares the sector for transnational investors. The establishment of privatised GP consortia has been promoted. One example. In this segmented format, businesses can easily be sold to investors. When countries commit services to international trade agreements, the liberalisation of those services is then locked in – open to transnational investors. With aspects of public services privatised, either via privatised contracting or sell-offs, the privatisations underpinning the liberalisations also become irreversible. The City of London, made up of transnational financial service corporations, is the main driver of commercial policy within the EU and of EU external trade policy. Dangers are evident. once the rights of transnational corporations become the priority, health becomes primarily a trade issue.

  2. Anton says:

    Given that the NHS is a devolved matter, are these statistics based on the UK as a whole or on Scotland alone?

    1. John Mooney says:

      I agree Anton,need clarification with regard to NHS.Scotland.

    2. raddledoldtart says:

      If you click through on the info graphic, the citations given at the bottom would indicate that the stats refer to NHS England, however I would still be of the opinion that this is relevant to us in Scotland because as Westminster’s reforms destroy NHS England they will be pressurising Holyrood to not only reduce the budget for NHS Scotland but also using misleading statistics to attempt to pressurise NHS Scotland into following their privatisation agenda.

  3. Portjim says:

    One of the items listed on the invoice is “maternal birth” – is there another sort? (serious question)

  4. Walter Hamilton says:

    Is not TTIP as much a danger to the NHS in Scotland as the Tories if we stay in the EU, and do we have any plan ‘B’.

  5. Jim Brosnan says:

    No mention of the number of Doctors from outside the EU working in the NHS?
    As for your example invoice,the NHS IS NOT FREE…..I for one have paid into this ‘scheme’ all my adult life via NIC contributions or so I was led to believe,I have been fortunate to have been well paid and also owned a relatively successful business.About to reach 65 years of age I have paid over £300,000 in NIC Contributions,some portion of which will have paid for my NHS health care needs !
    The above statistics serve only to confuse the electorate and are of course published with an anti- England bias……

  6. David Allan says:

    During the 2014 campaign I referred people interested in TTIP and it’s potential to impact on NHS . YouTube prof Allyson Pollock of University of London Tedx talk well worth a look if you want to know the threats and what the very real future could hold.

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