MLAs back campaign to safeguard NHS

Seven MLAs from the East and South Antrim areas have signed a petition showing their support for a campaign aimed at protecting the NHS from privatisation.

East Antrim representatives David Hilditch, Roy Beggs, Stewart Dickson, Oliver McMullan, along with members in South Antrim including Pam Cameron, Paul Girvan, David Ford, and Danny Kinahan pledged their support for the initiative, which is spearheaded by the People’s NHSni.

The campaign, which has garnered signatures from more than 6000 people in Northern Ireland, is calling for the NHS to be taken out if the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

The Rev Chris Hudson, spokesperson for the People’s NHSni, thanked the local MLAs and said: “There are widespread concerns about the likely adverse implications of the TTIP for the National Health Service, that’s why we asked our assembly members to support our campaign aims. We want David Cameron to use his veto and have the NHS exempted from this US–EU trade deal, a deal that is been carried out in almost total secrecy.

“In signing the petition our MLAs, almost 80 out of a total of 108 so far, clearly believe that the provision of public healthcare by the NHS is much too important to be put at risk by the EU-US trade agreement.

“They are therefore calling on the Prime Minister to make a clear statement to the European Trade Council that the UK will veto TTIP unless the NHS is fully and clearly exempted from the agreement.”