Protestors demanded an end to legal agreements they say could mean privatisation of the NHS at Stevenage town centre demonstration
- Credit: Archant
Concern about what might happen if more of the NHS is allowed to be run by private companies was the subject of a protest in Stevenage town centre on Saturday.
Demonstrators gathered with megaphones and banners to make a stand against so-called Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership agreements, which – if approved by the EU and the US – could make it impossible for the government to stop private companies bidding to offer goods and services currently offered by the NHS.
The campaigners say other EU countries have created blocks against this kind of agreement but blame Prime Minister David Cameron for failing to do so.
Protestor Steve Glennon from Stevenage said: “Effectively these TTIP agreements could make it illegal not to sell off parts of the NHS.
“It opens up the NHS to competition and if companies aren’t allowed to bid for parts of the NHS, they could sue the government for loss of profits.
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Mr Glennon said privatisation would only put more strain on an already overstretched NHS.
He said: “The Lister Hospital is on a knife edge at the moment because resources are just being taken away.
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“Private health isn’t going to help the people of Stevenage.”
The campaigners are part of a national group called The People’s NHS which is trying to raise the issue of TTIP agreements in the House of Commons.