SNP MP, Alyn Smith, has backed a bill to protect Scotland’s NHS from privatisation or increased drug fees as a result of UK trade deals.
Peter Grant MP for Glenrothes will bring the ‘NHS Protection Bill’ to the House of Commons tomorrow – aiming to prevent future UK Governments from signing up to trade agreements that could threaten the foundations of the health service.
The SNP’s bill would also give the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish Parliaments and Assemblies a final say over whether trade deals impact on their NHS.
The proposal was a key pledge in the SNP’s manifesto in the recent General Election, which saw the party win overwhelmingly in Scotland.
Commenting, SNP MP for Stirling, Alyn Smith, said:
‘Each of the four UK Health services are precious to those who use them and it is our duty, as elected representatives, to do everything we can to ensure our health services are protected.’
‘But while the Scottish Parliament has control of most aspects of health policy, we currently cannot stop Westminster governments from entering into trade deals that potentially put our NHS here in the Forth Valley area at a variety of risks.’
‘That is why I’m backing this proposal to protect our NHS from US style privatisation.’
‘If parties are genuine in their commitment to keep the NHS out of trade deals, then there should be no politician that can’t back this bill– helping us stop any future Westminster government from trading away our most cherished public resource.’
‘Our NHS has been there to care for and protect us for the last 70 years – now it’s our turn to stand up and protect the NHS.‘