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United States | Brussels, 11 July 2014

Protecting EU governments’ right to regulate public healthcare in TTIP

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP, will leave EU countries entirely free to control how they run their public health systems. This was the main message of a letter published today from the EU’s Chief TTIP Negotiator, Ignacio Garcia Bercero, to Rt Hon Jon Healey MP, who chairs the House of Commons’ All-Party Parliamentary Group on TTIP in the UK.

In his letter, Mr Garcia Bercero confirms that, when it comes to public health services in EU countries, such as the NHS in the UK, EU governments would still be free to choose whether:

  • foreign suppliers could bid for contracts, and if so, whether on the same terms as EU or domestic ones
  • foreign doctors could work in the system
  • private firms could help deliver public health services
  • parts of the service privatised in the past should return to public ownership.

He adds that the EU's proposals in TTIP for investor protection - including so-called Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) - would in no way impinge on governments' right to regulate public healthcare.

Read the full letter.