Trading Away Health: Globalization and Health Policy

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Canadians are slowly becoming aware that the international agreements now being negotiated to govern trade in services could have massive and irreversible effects on their health care system. The overarching objective of "trade liberalization" motivating these agreements includes a quite specific and deliberate agenda of reducing the role of government, and extending that of private commercial activity in all sectors, including the provision of health care. The objective of this Conference was to provide participants with an overview of the key provisions of the various agreements NAFTA, GATS, FTAA currently in place or under negotiation. Speakers reviewed evidence to date on the impact of these agreements in areas related to health, and identified potential future risks to the Canadian health care system.