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Healthcare Sector

Volume 450: debated on Friday 20 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what recent discussions his Department has had with officials from (a) the European Commission and (b) the Governments of other EU member states to discuss the liberalisation of the health care sector. (93336)

The UK considers public services to be excluded from the WTO’s General Agreement on Trade in Services in respect of both UK public services and those of other WTO members. In addition, the UK's ability to maintain public health and education services is guaranteed by the fact that Governments can choose in which sectors and to what extent to make commitments.

The Department is engaged in ongoing discussions with the European Commission and other EU member states with regard to liberalisation across a broad cross-section of service sectors.